Before I go shopping, I like to write down what the requirements for each child are. There is so much choice available, that I can get overwhelmed when I am in the stores and buy things that they don’t actually need, just because I love it!! Taking the time to do some planning for this kids clothes shopping, also means I am far more likely to stick to our clothes budget.
For example to complete her wardrobe for the upcoming winter Possum, only needs a few things, as we still have a stash of great hand me downs from generous friends. They include some beautiful dresses and skirts which I am hoping she will eventually want to wear. There is also some clothes which still fit her from last year, so I only need to get:
– 4 basic long sleeve t-shirts (black, white, pink, ?)
– 2 pairs of basic jeans (denim, light and dark)
– 1 warm hoodie (pink at her request)
– 1 warm jumper (any colour but pink!)
– 3 pairs of warm tights (black, blue, pink)
To update Babagansouski’s wardrobe he needs a only a couple of things as well. He has majority hand me downs from his older brothers, but not everything is fit for wearing so he will need:
– 5 pairs of socks (there has been a disappearing act with the warm long socks I think)
– 2 long sleeve t-shirts (grey, blue)
– 2 warm jumpers (grey, blue)
– 2 pairs of jeans/long pants – his brothers were pretty rough on their clothes (light and dark denim)
You can see in the above lists, I have even detailed the colours of each item. The reason for this is that I have in the past, purchased items because I have found them aesthetically pleasing, but they match with nothing when I get them home.
I have not made an audit the older boys yet, but will do that next week and see what they require. I find it easier to split the shopping into two expeditions. If I have children with me (and I do like the kids to have a say in what they get), to have to look across four different clothing sections gets me a bit scattered, so by reducing the scope of the expedition I find I am more effective and efficient with the purchases.
I do like to buy sweatshop free clothes were possible, but it is much harder to find the things that I want in a price range I can afford for all of their clothes. Here are a couple of places around Melbourne that you can purchase sweat free:
Qualitops – 466 Smith Street, Collingwood. Victoria. tel:03 9417 7288
They manufacturers 100% Australian made garments. and are accredited to use the â€œNo Sweat Shop Label”. They have a plain line of the basics. I actually went there to get a hoodie for Possum, but they won’t be in until April. They did have a great slim fit women’s hoodie for $40, but I had to stick to planned shopping and will go back another time to check one out for me.
Friends of the Earth – 312 Smith Street Collingwood. Victoria. tel: 03 9419 8700
The long sleeve t-shirt and t-shirt in the photo are for Babagansouski and they came from FOE. They have a small range for children aged 0 -2, all of which is sweatshop free. They also stock a No Sweat Sneaker (looks like Converse low cuts) for $60 and start from a boys size 1 through to mens and womens. It would be advisable to call ahead if you are interested in the sneakers, to see if they your size in stock.
Hunter Gatherer – 274 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. Victoria. tel: 03 9415 7371
This a shop of the Brotherhood of St Lawrence. The stores are social enterprises selling recycled vintage clothing and new, No Sweatshop accredited, clothing. They have children’s wear under their own brand which includes long sleeve t-shirts and dresses for children aged 0 – 3. They also have amazing vintage clothing for adults and a small section for children which is always worth a look.
Oli B Designs (online).
They stock a range of Australian made, unique clothes for children aged 0 -5. They have those gorgeous chenille pants, dresses etc, made from recycled bedspreads.
If you know of any others sweat free retailers, I would love to hear about them!
Lots of these clothes would be sweat shop free as well, as they are mostly hand made.
Meet Me at Mikes 63 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. Victoria. tel: 03 9416 3713
It is just a world of crafty goodness in that shop. The above link is to there online store, but if you get a chance, go to their Fitzroy store and have some fun checking everything out. They also have a blog which can keep you abreast of their very interesting goings on.
The good thing about planning the winter wardrobe now, is that I have the time to look online and wait for the goods to come as winter is not yet upon us. Here is just a small selection of great crafty based clothing sites that are out there selling unique and well made kids clothing:
Made by a Melbourne mum, there are great long sleeve t-shirts with a block of vintage inspired fabrics from Australia and the United States, sewn neatly on the front. Babagansouski has a couple that he is almost too big for, but I am squeezing him into as I love the Cowboy and Indians and the Old Aeroplanes fabrics!! (I am ordering him some new ones.)
Chew Chew’s Closet
One-of-a-kind custom creations, ranging from classic vintage to modern designs.
For ages 0 – 6, clothes which are designed to be wearable, durable, original and affordable.
“Specializing in hemp, organic, wool, soy, bamboo, and recycled fibers for men, women, and children. The less impact on the earth, the more fashionable on you!”
Tin Tank Clothing
Hoodies and t-shirts for the boys.
The last few sites area all from Etsy, which is the “go to place for all things handmade”. Note that the prices are in $US.
As I stated at the top of this post, I don’t buy all the kids clothes from these places (but wish I could!!!). I do buy some of the basics from a large chain store, which I think has pretty much all their clothes made in China. Planning though, has allowed me to become much better in my shopping habits, taking a less in quantity, but more in quality approach to the kids clothes. I will keep working at this!