We all want our youth to grow up safe and healthy, with caring hearts and a respect for life. We nurture them from the day they are born throughout the course of their lives. As infants, we nourish them with unconditional love. As toddlers, we encourage their curiosity to the natural playground of the outdoors. As teenagers, we inspire them to explore, learn and discover the beauty and complexity of the natural world. Throughout this journey, we instill in them the values that are shared with all humanity—love, respect, celebration for life’s gifts, and we share with them the global bond nature provides us.
What if we could “wear” our values every day? If clothes are in fact an extension of our values, we would need to think twice about the brands we choose to endorse, support, and wear daily. We would be curious to understand “who made my clothes?” We would make an effort to discover whether they were made ethically—both for the people producing them and for our Earth. Was the planet harmed or polluted along the way?
This is the world of Sustainable Fashion—where brands are doing their part to honor both people and planet. "We are seeing a movement emerging among childrenswear brands, globally. More and more brands are seeking ways to increase their positive impact on the environment and the communities behind their products,” says Tamsin Tamsin Lejeune, Founder and CEO of Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF) and SOURCE. “The most creative amongst these are going beyond this, and engaging the young market for their products with sustainability, creating ambassadors for change. This movement, and its influence on a generation of children and young adults, will play a fundamental role in addressing the urgent social and environmental challenges that face the fashion industry—now the second most polluting industry in the world."
EFF’s recent Brand Preview 2015 featured children’s sustainable fashion brands from newborn to teen, luxury to basics, including: Aikya Designs, Animal Tails, Bebobio, Beibamboo, Choodie, Dhana Inc., Eternal Creation, Monkey & Mum, Supernatural Collections, Where Does It Come From, and more. We witnessed a growing presence of brands who seek to instill awareness within our youth, and influence the younger generations to connect with people and planet through clothes. From artwork to culture, fabric to form, the message was loud and clear—ask the questions who, what, where, why and how of your clothes. These answers will shape the way you view the world.
Image by Kotow on the Ethical Fashion Source Brand Preview 2015
As my fellow EFF member Jo Salter, Founder of Where Does It Come From, shares with us, “Kids have very inquiring minds, and I believe that if they understand how their clothes are made, and ‘connect’ with the people who made them, this will inspire them to shop more ethically when they grow up. I set up Where Does It Come From? to create funky, practical clothes where each garment has a code on the label which unlocks the story of its creation—from the cotton fields right through to the tailor who sews it together.” You can learn more about the EFF’s Brand Preview 2015 Children’s Wear here.
It’s this kind of thinking and perspective that gives us hope for a shift in fashion consumption in the future. Dhana was founded with the same principles that Jo Salter speaks to; providing youth with ethically sourced clothes that are good for them, good for people, and good for the planet. But if we hope to change our kids' purchasing habits, then we should be informing them and promoting awareness of the need for sustainable fashion. Let’s get our youth thinking about their clothes and use fashion as a means to connect with people and planet.
We’re using #kids4sustainablefashion to start the conversation and we’re inviting you to join in. Connect with us and share your story of how you’re promoting sustainable fashion with the youth in your life, or check out our apparel online at Dhana.com to begin sharing the message with the next generation, our future leaders. Either way, join the conversation using #kids4sustainablefashion to learn how our youth around the planet are moving toward a more sustainable future, clothes first.