This year, Mother Earth is basically kicking our ass and telling us to sit down… of course, we all have learned about the power, science & mystery of it all in school, but to have something so small that’s invisible to the naked eye completely shut down our way of life across the globe is a true testament to the sheer power of nature. She commands and definitely deserves a lot more respect than we as a collective species have been giving her.
On a bigger picture level, I’ve been reading about some cool things happening, like this mutant enzyme that breaks down PET plastic in a matter of days or solar cells setting new records for efficiency . But the looming question is HOW on an individual level, as a parent, as a household do we do our share? We may drive a hybrid car, but we also fly a few times a year for work or holidays… We might recycle religiously, but leave the lights on in the house or run washers and dishwashers half full. There’s SO MUCH to know, it’s impossible to keep up unless we decide to ignore those dirty diapers and laundry, forget making breakfast, lunch and dinner for the fam and dedicate ourselves to reading every article that comes out on the subject and then actually incorporating it into our lives.
I am FAR from an expert on any of this, and am on my own journey finding my (and my family’s) balance with what I can reconcile with. It’s just not possible to be perfect, but it’s more about knowing where you stand and what you’re ok with. For example, I love to travel, like LOVE to travel. When I get to plan a big trip like our family European holiday this last Christmas/New Years, it was something I researched endlessly and looked SO forward to for months. And particularly at this moment in time, I am beyond happy that we have those incredible memories to look back on. And going to Japan to see family, eat our faces off and shop their amazing boutiques & department stores… (usually a once a year excursion when Covid isn’t ravaging our planet) this is definitely something that I would selfishly never consider cancelling for environmental reasons… just being honest! Knowing this, I feel my household has a lot to do to neutralize our carbon footprint, and man, it’s a daunting task since air travel is like the WORST thing you can do to the environment.
Well, the one thing I am qualified to speak on in regard to all of this, is clothing & fashion.
Due to fast fashion, the industry is producing DOUBLE the amount of clothing than it was in 2000. At this moment, clothing & textiles accounts for 4% of the world’s waste every year, 25 BILLION tons of waste for North America alone that releases greenhouse gasses as it decomposes in landfills.
Not only that, but many of these fast fashion companies operate factories with poor, unsafe conditions and exploitative pay.
What can we do about this? Here are some easy-to-do and feel good ideas:
Invest in quality clothing that will last through multiple wears & washes. We’ve all experienced it – we buy a cute top for cheap, wear & wash it once, and realize why it was so darn inexpensive. We maybe get 2 more wears out of it before it gets tossed in the can! Rather than doing that, invest a little bit more into a great piece that will last you through 20, 30, 40 wears!
Get styles that look great mixing and matching with other items in your kiddo’s closet. This might mean grabbing some more solid bottoms to go with printed tops or vice versa. This also makes your life easier when getting them dressed – pick one of their favorite bottoms as a base and then choose a top based on that.
Ask your kids what their preference is before purchasing so they feel that they have a say in what they wear, and get items that are so comfy that your kid will WANT to wear it every day. And I have a few tips for you on what pieces to invest in to last you the longest (and therefore will end up saving you money in the long run!!) that I will add to the bottom of this post.
If a piece of clothing has run its course with you, donate it! If it’s crazy stained or ripped, you can reuse it as an art shirt or cut it up to use as a rag.
Tips on what things to invest in for kids fashion:
Buy big(ger)! I personally like tshirts on my son to fit properly – as in not huge & baggy. That’s such a pet peeve of mine when I see boys wearing tshirts 4 sizes too big! BUT, I will say, my 8 year old son grows so darn quickly, that when I buy him a tshirt, I buy one or two sizes bigger depending on the brand. In Miki Miette, I grab him a 10y these days (he’s 8 1/2 and on the sturdy side). He could def fit in a size 8y but maybe only for another few months, but with a size 10y, that tshirt will be in rotation for over a year!
Hoodies are great investment pieces! Who doesn’t love hoodies? And they’re always in season! In the Spring & sometimes in the Summer, you still love having a lightweight one in the evening. In the Fall & Winter, they’re the perfect cozy layering piece on top of that long sleeve shirt and under that winter jacket!
Rompers – the ultimate 2 for 1! After 8 years of designing Miki Miette, I’m STILL obsessed with rompers! I just think they’re the cutest things ever! And how great that baby rompers are so stinkin’ adorable, they’re comfy for baby, and it’s a one and done outfit?! What’s not to love about that?
Dresses are the best investment pieces! Dresses, because of their shape, are probably the most long-lasting pieces you can buy. If they start getting a bit short, no worries – you’re probably putting a legging under there anyway, right? And if it gets super short, your little girl can just wear it like a tunic.
Spaghetti Straps are a secret longevity factor. Our Livia romper – you probably know it, right? It’s one of our all-time best selling styles. I think one of the reasons why people are obsessed with it, is because this girls romper style is easy, adorable and adjustable. You can tie the straps tighter when your baby girl is younger, and let it go longer when she gets taller.
Basic leggings – all day, everyday. Our super soft Heather Grey Lena leggings go with everything on this planet. Seriously, if you just had a few of those in your kid’s wardrobe, you actually wouldn’t need anything else!