In keeping with many of our New Year's Resolutions to live more sustainably, today we'll focus on sustainable fashion and share 10 steps in that direction. No one is able to do it all and unfortunately we live in a society where sustainable options are rare and difficult. We may not have sustainable options available to us because of our location, time, or budget, but there are steps we can take in that direction.
Even if you take one of the following steps to sustainable fashion seriously, you're making a brilliant choice for the planet and the next generation!
One of the most common textiles, cotton is affordable and sustainable. Cotton is renewable and biodegradable, which means the future generations will certainly be wearing it, and not dealing with our waste. Most chemical fibers are petroleum based, which means they come from nonrenewable resources, but not cotton. Some of our favourite brands in the shop use only 100% cotton, such as Les Petites Natures, Illoura the Label, The Simple Folk, and many more.
Denim isn't perfect as it requires a lot of water to produce, but you'll be hard pressed to find a more durable pant. Any toddler's leggings will have holes in the knee after a few weeks or months if they're crawlers, but their jeans will stay in tact and are perfect to hand down. Look for denim that isn't mixed with other chemical fibers. We have 100% cotton Summer and Storm denim for kids!
Leather is one of the most durable organic materials we have, with natural water-proof abilities and years of wear in every shoe. We are proud to carry Donsje and Petit Nord shoes and boots, both using 100% vegetable tanning on their leathers. While leather is not vegan, it is biodegradable and a renewable resource, making it an ecological choice.
4. Recycled Materials
We carry many products that are made from recycled resources, limiting waste and pushing limits. Le Frik backpacks are all made from recycled plastic PET bottles and swimwear brand Zulu & Zephyr uses ECONYL® ribbed lycra, revolutionary fibre that uses recovered nylon waste from oceans and landfills. It's so incredible to see brands getting creative to combat fashion waste and pollution!
Choosing organic materials when you can really makes a difference! Free from chemicals and pesticides, organic cotton is much softer to the touch than 100% cotton. Children with eczema will be much more comfortable without the irritants in mass-produced cotton. Brands like Organic Zoo and Tinycottons have some of the softest clothing and everything they design is 100% organic.
Like leather, wool is a durable and renewable resource that will last and last. Whether it's Oeuf's 100% alpaca wool or Les Petits Tousi wool slippers, or the many other brands who utilize this wonderful textile, we love carrying wool! Scientific studies show that wool is 100% biodegradable in both land and marine environments, plus it's incredibly warm and cozy. Because wool lasts so long, it's also easy to find second-hand!
The heartbeat of Mini-Cycle is letting sustainable, quality clothing live on and on through buying and selling to new families. Our dream is that each item we sell be used in our cycle up to five times. Buying pre-loved is much more affordable, especially if you're looking for smaller brands or organic materials, which can be more expensive. Pre-loved also has virtually no ecological footprint! Imagine if even half of your wardrobe was pre-loved; what positive impact that would have on the environment!
One small change we can all make towards sustainability is buying more neutral colours, which lend themselves more easily to hand-me-downs between brothers and sisters. We carry a lot of brands that use a highly neutral palette, such as Caribou and Phil & Phae.
9. Timeless Styles
Similar to neutrals, clothes with a timeless style are much more likely to be passed on. You may have even held on to a few timeless items from your own childhood that your little one now wears! We aim to carry durable and timeless pieces that could continue being down for years. Fast fashion trends never last and the result is fashion waste, pollution, and more spending. Classics like Petit Bateau or Blundstones will always be in style.
At the end of the day, the most sustainable purchase is the one you don't make. Use what you have, repurpose and repair before you buy something new. You'll model the virtue of contentment to your children and our planet will thank you!