stepping away from sweatshops
Over the last few weeks and months, I've felt more and more compelled to move away from buying clothing for our family that's been made in sweatshops. And let me tell you something, it's harder than I thought!
Mostly, it's harder because I'm an impulse shopper. I see cute clothes for me and the kids, and I want to grab it up right away. I tend to shy away from buying things for Zach, and he tends to wear his clothes for years and years, but with me and the kids, I'm totally prone to Old Navy and Target sales like you wouldn't believe.
But the fact that workers in Bangladesh are on hunger strike right now due to the horrible conditions? Man, that's a wake-up call. It's time to make a change.
For me, I'm just going to stop buying clothes. I've got plenty, and where I lack is in the sweater department, so I plan to make a few for myself this fall and winter. (I'll share more about that later).
Owen is a bit more difficult, but not much. He's finally at the stage where he's wearing his clothes for more than one season. And while he's transitioning between sizes a bit with his shirts, by winter he should be in just 3T in everything, and be able to wear that size for about a year. He's set for jeans, but will need some long-sleeve shirts as it gets colder. I plan to knit him a sweater or two, in washer/dryer safe yarns, and we're thinking of shopping American Apparel for a few staple long-sleeve shirts.
Lou is the hard one. She's still quickly growing out of clothes, and will continue to do so for the next year or two. I'm lucky that we have a friend whose daughter was born a year before Lou, almost to the day, and she's been generous with the hand-me-downs. I may turn to Etsy for some staples, and will probably get a few things at American Apparel for her as well, but with how fast she's growing, and how messy a stage she's about to enter (food for the win!) I'm not sure how this will all work out for her just yet.
I'm also super excited about a start-up called Wildly Co. I've already backed them on Kickstarter, and am hopeful that they'll get the full amount they need to begin production on their fall line. This feels like a great option for shirts and pants for Owen, with their fun tees priced right where I'm comfortable spending. The best part is they plan to do their manufacturing in North Carolina, so they're totally not sweatshop made! (Their tees are currently being made by their family, from production to screen printing to product testing!)
But it still feels like, especially for messy and growing babies, there just aren't very many good AND affordable options. American Apparel is better, but not the best (they still don't pay their workers very much, and because they're super trendy styles, the clothes don't always last more than a season or two), but I'm not sure what else to do to keep away from Target and Old Navy buying in the future.
(Note: This post is not sponsored by anyone. I'd love to be able to get clothes for my kids that are ethically made, so I'm writing about it in the hopes someone has some ideas.)