This blog should have gone out well before now but life is busy! I never imagined that I would be launching a business in the middle of a global crisis. My husband and I are both working from home, as well as looking after two very tiny and very energetic boys!
Anyway, now that the lock down is easing, I thought it was high time that I write the first blog to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about the passion behind Little Willow. My name is Charlotte and I am originally from the beautiful and sunny country of New Zealand! I am now living in the UK with my British husband and 2 little boys – Salem who is almost 3 and Theodore who is 9 months old. I have been living in the UK now for 5 years. I have always been one to try my best to support local business, buy ethically and sustainably and think about how the way I live impacts the environment. When I had my first boy Salem this feeling magnified, and I want to be the best example to my kids that I can be! But in reality when I went on the hunt for ethically made children's clothing I found it difficult to find truly ethically minded companies that didn't break the bank! Fast-forward a year and I found myself thinking about how fashion could be done really differently, not only by being ethical but by being transparent, honest, and affordable too. But this (so I have found out on my journey) means not following the normal trends - making hundreds of pieces for spring, summer, autumn, and winter, then having massive sales to get rid of them to make way for more stuff.
I wanted to start something different. Going against the grain, I guess. So I decided to make ethical clothing that is made to last, with fewer pieces, that have been thoughtfully designed and lovingly created, and durable enough to be passed on. Either passed on to your next baby, a friend, or passed back to us. As a company we want to take responsibility for what we created. So we take back our clothes to then give another person the opportunity to buy something ethical, this time at an even more reduced price.
And to make sure it doesn't go out of fashion, the clothes have been inspired by my love of all things vintage. After all, vintage doesn’t really go out of fashion, does it!?
We only do two seasons: Summer and Winter. And we only do small capsule collections, so as not to be part of our wasteful culture.
I guess I am just trying to not only provide a service to people who want to dress their kids in sustainable clothing, but also to provide a different narrative to the one that the fashion industry has at the moment.
Let’s swim against the current, lets pull against the tide, let’s try and be a tiny part of making a difference in this massive excessive consumer culture that we currently live in. Are you with me!?
It’s so darn hard though isn’t it!? Trust me I struggle. I mean you may think that the owner of a clothing company who makes ethical stuff doesn’t struggle. But I am going to be honest always and say YES I DO! And there is never any judgement here. We are surrounded by constant noise. Noise that tells us we should have this and that, that we should look a certain way, dress a certain way, that we are only successful if we are this or that. It’s very noisy isn’t it?
The good news is, that I now see a lot of movement towards this new sustainable way of living. I think people want a slower pace of life. We have SO MUCH now, anything we want is at our fingertips, we can go on amazon and get anything we want, and it can arrive the next day. We have a million movie options at our finger tips to watch when we want. We can drive though for food 24 hours a day if we want to… Heck, we don’t even have to look at a map anymore!
Do you think we have lost our way a bit?
As amazing as all these new technologies are and they have, in many ways, made our lives easier and more convenient, sometimes I feel sad that my kids will grow up not knowing the anticipation of waiting for what you want. Remember waiting all year for that ONE next big Disney movie to come out?! Then watching it over and over again for the next year. Or the anticipation of waiting for a new pair of shoes or that cool jumper that your friend had, but your mum made you wait all year until your birthday to get!? Okay, so I’m rambling. I guess my point is, so many of us are hankering for a slower pace of life. And to bring our kids up in a slower way. I think one of the things that coronavirus has done, is force us all
to stop. Force almost the entire world to stop, to breathe, to reflect on what is really important.
We need to step back, breathe a little, and think about what is important.
All of this is part of the inspiration behind Little Willow:
- Small collections of vintage inspired clothing that take us back to simpler times.
- High quality, cut-no-corners clothing.
- Beautiful, hand-painted original fabric designs.
- Slow, sustainable, and ethical clothing.
I would love to hear of anyone else who has started on a journey to more sustainable living. Anything from buying less, using less, recycling, or upcycling. There is so much we can do if we put a little thought into it! I’m always ready to learn and be inspired by others. So feel free to email me or message me on social media, I would love to hear your story and thoughts!
Thanks for reading,