The last ten years has seen a noticeable increase in the amount of British children's clothing brands, possibly aided by consumers now showing an interest in both the origins and manufacture of the products they buy.
For some the term fair trade is purely restricted to buying a bunch of bananas & organic for the supermarket aisles but more and more people are asking what they are about to dress their children in and how ethical was it's creation. British designers are absolutely keeping this in mind with award winning designs made from ethically sourced materials which still manages to provide good value for money.
THE BEST OF BRITISH BABY & TODDLER FASHIONS
Launched in 2004 under the original name of cut4cloth by Lucy & Kurt Jewson, they were prompted to start their own baby clothing company after being faced with the difficulties of finding baby clothing that fitted over their son's cloth nappies. Their aim to come to the rescue of big bottomed babies while offering ethically manufactured organic cotton clothing was a success and managed to scoop them an armful of rewards. As their popularity grew so did their ranges with 2008 seeing the arrival of children's clothing & breastfeeding wear, by now they thought the name cut4cloth was not quite as apt and the name Frugi was launched. Achieving what some can only dream of Frugi has developed children's clothing that parents love but more importantly that children love to wear. Organic cotton is softer, comfier and kinder on children's sensitive skin and the clever designers at Frugi have gone one better by making waist bands adjustable, seams stronger and all their children's ranges wash beautifully.
Frugi's organic cotton comes from their "Frugi" farmers in India, because organic cotton does not use nasty pesticides it's safe for the farmers & they receive a much better price for their crop. Frugi designs it's clothes in sunny Cornwall and then the designs go on to be made in factories in Turkey, India & Portugal. All workers who make Frugi clothing are over 19 years, work sensible hours and receive a fair fixed wage for all their hard work.
Frugi's new spring / summer 2013 range is available now, it's theme this season is the good old British summer fete from their baby bunting dress to rainbow lollypop leggings!
2. POWELL CRAFT
Powell Craft celebrated their 50th anniversary last year! Again based in Cornwall Powell Craft started out trading in traditional wooden toys, moved on to lace & linens and now has a beautiful range of children's clothing, rag dolls and nursery bedding. Ideas behind the designs are quintessentially English, their girls nightdresses somewhat Victorian, and made from pure cotton. Powell Craft is a family-run company which supports fair trade and many charities including the mobile creches in India and the children's hospitality in Cornwall.
Powell Craft clothing is reminiscent of children past from vintage style fabric pyjamas to 50's style sundresses with matching hats. For babies they have an extensive range of adorable knitwear from their many nursery themes including farmyard jumpers and cupcake pram coats. A common thought is that Powell Craft children's ranges are beautifully made, unusual and unique making them perfect gifts.
3. BLADE & ROSE
Blade and rose have hit on an absolute iconic must have for baby bottoms everywhere with their baby leggings! Blade and Rose who are based in the lake district bring us innovative, funky baby leggings in beautiful designs with a picture on the bottom. Available in 0-3 years with plans to increase the size range shortly these are a must have and are a complete bargain at only £ 10. 00.
4. TOBY TIGER
Toby tiger is every fashion conscience child's dream, offering baby & children's clothing in bright, bold designs with a range made in pure organic cotton. Founded in 1998 by Zoe Mellor who had the inspiration in "wanting children to be dressed as children in bold, simple, comfortable yet stylish designs at sensible prices", it is now an award winning brand with a growing celebrity following including: Zoë Ball, Vic Reeves, Gwyneth Paltrow, Catherine Zeta Jones and Davina McCall.
5. MERRY BERRIES
Merry Berries baby hats are not only designed in Britain but also made here! Baby hats knitted in pure cotton that come in a range of designs with their most popular being their fruit designs which include strawberries & blackberries. Merry Berries strawberry hat has even featured in the 2011 Horrid Henry film!
These are my personal top picks out of the growing range of British designers. If you love British children's clothing and fashions you can keep up to date with them and see everything on offer at the Bubble show London which is held in Islington several times a year.