Sustainable and responsibly sourced fashion are the go-to buzzwords right now for shopping responsibly for children's clothes. And when it comes to luxury baby clothing and gifts, it can have a massive impact on what you decide to purchase.
Mom's and Dad's want to dress their babies in their favorite brands with a clear conscience. They now know that clothing doesn't have to wage war on nature or be produced in an environment using methods that can endanger the health and welfare of those who make it.
But what is sustainable and responsibly sourced fashion? And how does it impact what you buy for the baby, and where you buy it from?
Sustainable Fashion: What Is It?
The Collins dictionary defines 'Sustainability' as 'Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources to maintain an ecological balance.'
This means there is never an instance where more natural resources are used than can be replaced by the planet in the manufacturing process.
It also applies to what is being produced while the clothing is being made. That nothing comes from the manufacture of garments that cannot be naturally reabsorbed. Much larger ‘churn and burn’ fashion brands today, tend to lean towards the ‘take, make, dispose of’ model. This is entirely at odds with the sustainable fashion ethos.
Sustainable fashion pays great attention to the following in the process:
*Are the energy emissions high? What is the use of energy in the production of synthetic fabrics? This can include the washing, drying, and ironing of clothes.
*Is there a lot of chemical usage? Are there a lot of fertilizers and pesticides used in the production? This can happen when using raw materials like cotton.
*What are the levels of waste creation? For example, when it comes to textiles, it can be gigantic if they are incinerated or sent to landfills. At 10 to 12 Baby Lounge, we never use synthetic fabrics. The reason? They aren’t biodegradable and can end up as landfill waste. Or even worse than that the fabrics can end up as the pile of garbage that is floating in the Pacific Ocean that is twice the size of the state of Texas.
What Is the Difference Between Responsibly Sourced Fashion and Sustainable Fashion?
Responsibly sourced baby fashion encourages a commitment from not only the consumer but the supplier. As a consumer, you think twice about your purchase, and choose to buy an often more expensive product to support the initiative behind the product. As a supplier, you lean towards techniques that are mindful of the environment. And you take great care of the workers who create the garments, making sure they are treated fairly.
Responsibly sourced fashion is also interchangeable with the term' ethical manner.' This is sometimes known as 'slow fashion.' The reason? The process often involved handmade goods and artisan methods, which inevitably take longer than mass-market-produced clothing.
According to The Collins English Dictionary, when something is described as ethical, it is in relation to whether it is seen as ‘morally right or morally acceptable.’
This idea of ethical, responsible, or sustainable fashion is nothing new. It was around as early as the 1970’s when hippies denounced a consumer lifestyle that could harm the planet. This ideal also encouraged a more 'close to the earth' and responsible consumption attitude.
So, what is involved in the process if you purchase responsibly sourced or sustainable fashion?
*Manufacturers are ethical when it comes to working conditions, and they are following Human Rights. They will often employ artisan techniques, and items will be handmade. If animals are used for cotton or wool, they will be treated with respect and kindness. And the land they live on will be sustainably cared for.
*Fairtrade is incorporated in practice. This reduces inequalities between countries producing and the countries that are consuming. This involves much more than just being ethical. It's all about the brand making sure employees get the minimum wage.
* There's transparency in the production process. If there is a shorter production chain, it's much easier to see precisely what is involved step by step.
*The garments are produced in an eco-friendly way. This can include using ecological or/and organic raw materials. And it also means there is an eco-friendly production process. One way of doing this is to reduce water consumption.
*Recycling is included in the production. This helps in the diminution of natural resources.
There are already several initiatives to help fashion brands transition to being responsibly sourced. English-speaking countries are ahead of the game when it comes to spearheading responsibly sourced fashion.
For example, the firm Bolt Threads was involved in devising a technology replicating spider silk, partnered with the fashion designer Stella McCartney, to create the first designer dress made out of Bolt Microsilk™.
Several American corporates such as GAP, Tommy Hilfiger, and Nike have also declared their intentions to introduce more responsible fashion into their lines.
Responsible Fashion and Peruvian Cotton
10to12 Baby Lounge is dedicated to its pursuit of responsibly sourced fashion. To this end, we use Peruvian Pima and Tanguis cotton, which is not only of superior quality but has a small carbon footprint in its manufacturing process.
At 10 to 12 Baby Lounge, we use Tanguis cottons for our flannel products, and our thin layettes are made from Pima. So what’s the difference?
Pima cotton was grown in coastal areas of Peru, and fisherman would use it to make their nets. It’s referred to as ‘native cotton,’ and grows naturally in coffee, avocado and cream colors. It’s incredibly strong, soft and durable.
Meanwhile, Tanguis cotton can be traced back 6000 years. Records are citing Aboriginal societies using the fabric. When colonists arrived in Peru in the 16th Century, they were stunned by the sophisticated weaving techniques used.
Both Pima and Tanguis cotton can only be produced in specific climate and soil conditions. The northern area of Peru happens to have the best conditions. It’s non-toxic and organic. This gives it a unique mixture of fineness and resistance. Meaning it is soft, breathable, and beautiful to wear. It's also kind to skin.
The Pima and Tanguis cotton we use are Peruvian variants. They have a lovely feel, can hold dye, and are long-lasting.
You can see some of the items here on our capsule wardrobe page.
Responsible Fashion and Cashmere
Cashmere has long had a bad rap when it comes to sustainable and responsibly sourced fashion. According to PETA, many cashmere goats have the coats shorn, then they're then left to freeze, often dying from the stress of the cold. They can also be sold for meat if their wool is not of a high enough quality.
This is why 10 to 12 Baby Lounge gets all its cashmere sourced directly from a farm that prides itself on treating its goats like kings and queens. The farm has been in a family for generations and is located in Inner Mongolia.
10 To 12 Baby Lounge Founder Amanda Shi-Werts visited the farm personally to see how well the goats were treated and make sure they were looked after with the most outstanding care and kindness. You can check out what a great time she had by clicking on this link now. And the goats were having a ball as well! They get to frolic in the fields, enjoy the clean mountain air, and have their coats groomed and sheared by hand.
She believes the stress of the animal can be passed on through the fabric. So, rest assured 10 to 12 Baby Lounge luxury cashmere blankets, clothing and accessories will give the sweetest dreams, coziness, and comfort to babies.
How do you know that when you buy a blanket from us? Amanda saw the farmers gently and carefully brushing the goats when she went to visit. And she checks regularly on their wellbeing. No scary stories of goats dying or being killed here because they are too cold.
The farmers brush the goat’s coats in the spring, so they get to stay chill in and look cool in the hot summer months and are nice and cozy in rocking a fabulous coat in the winter. They’re happy and relaxed with their maximum comfort a priority. So your baby will get to experience the same feelings of wellbeing in our cashmere luxury baby clothing range.
Shop our luxury cashmere baby blankets here.