We’ve got a duty to our kids to protect the planet as much as we can, and it’s never been more topical or as urgent as it is today.
With kids around the world marching to tackle climate change and young people standing up to publicly talk about the subject (Hello Greta!), it’s a wake-up call when the kids demand it’s time for adults to sit up and take notice.
Earlier this year, MPs called for a 1p tax on clothes from the major high street players to go towards better recycling and repairing in the fashion industry. They even urged schools to introduce mending and darning classes for pupils. We love the idea of kids learning valuable skills like this, but is this enough?
It’s definitely a start, but in reality the whole fashion industry needs to change, along with our throwaway culture. As fast fashion has been dominating the industry for years, we’re thrilled that the slow fashion movement is making the headlines and – at last – becoming very on trend, so to speak. We’ve been advocating it since we began – sometimes with raised eyebrows! Take our much loved and copied multi stripe print (see above). We’ve been doing our super bright stripes for over 20 years – and we reckon it’s even more popular today than it was when we started!
So, while we’ve all heard the terms, what exactly is slow fashion verses fast fashion? Put simply, fast fashion relates to low-cost clothing that imitate trend-setting designer’s collections. On the other hand, slow fashion companies practise ethical manufacturing often using organic fabrics, while making sure clothes workers are in a safe working environment and paid fairly.
Feel the love for longer
Of course, that’s what Toby Tiger is all about, and we’re proud that our clothes are made to last. For over 20 years we’ve been passionate and committed to slow fashion, designing vibrant timeless ranges that don’t date. Our organic clothes last much longer and wash really well – even at 30 degrees – so they can be worn again and again. Then, when your little one goes up a size, you can simply pass on to friends or down for generations. This is the sort of message we should be sending to kids. Not only that, we absolutely love it when we see pre-loved Toby Tiger clothes up for sale – it only goes to prove how good our clothes still look second- or even third-hand.
When buying new, our clothes are well-priced, excellent quality and we thoughtfully plan stock so there’s next to no waste. For example, last summer’s designs sit happily with new additions and we’ve made it that way on purpose. We think carefully when we design our clothing, adding clever details like expanding waistbands, adjustable straps and working drawstrings. This makes our fun clothes comfortable, fit better and last longer. We want kids to be kids and really don’t see the point of making things we don’t think they’ll enjoy wearing. We want them to climb trees, run on the beach, swing on swings and enjoy this magnificent planet!
At Toby Tiger we only bring out two additional ranges a year and you’ll see them on sale until we’ve sold out. You'll only ever see two main sales a year from us – we don’t feel the need to shift stock at knockdown prices all the time to make way for the next season – that’s a fast fashion model, which is unnecessary and impacts the planet more than we realise. Shocking stats from a government report reveal that in the UK alone the fashion business creates 1 million tonnes of waste each year and is a bigger source of carbon emissions than aviation and shipping combined.
It’s obvious we need to change, and by supporting ethical clothing companies using slow fashion principles is definitely one way to play a part in this.
GOTS stamp of approval
Don’t forget, Toby Tiger clothes are also GOTS-certified – the gold standard when it comes to organic clothing production. It means we can all be super sure that our lovely cotton suppliers and clothes makers follow only the best methods for organic, social and ethical standards. Factories are checked to make sure workers have a safe and clean environment and paid a fair, living wage. The factories also need to show how much water and energy they use to make their cotton, while GOTS puts targets and practices into place to help lessen the load.