Finding ethical clothing isn’t always easy. Let’s be honest, we all want to support ethical clothing, but sometimes it feels hard to follow through. I promise it really isn’t, with so many more local companies making the switch, it’s easier than ever to shop ethically. Switching to ethical fashion has so many benefits like better quality clothing and even safer labor practices around the world. To find out more about how Treasure Box Kids creates their own clothes, you can read more at, Ethically Manufactured Kids Clothes- The TBK Way
What is Ethical Clothing?
There are so many new phrases when you jump into buying ethical fashion. Slow and fast fashion are thrown around a lot, but what are they exactly? Fast fashion is the push to crank out mass produced items quickly and cheaply. They cut corners, not just in the quality of the clothes but also in their questionable labor practices. Slow fashion, is the opposite. It’s the choice to buy quality clothing that lasts longer from companies that actually care about the people making the clothes. When we buy fast fashion clothing, we contribute to waste in a big way. Our clothing doesn’t last as long so we throw them away instead of passing them down to someone else because the quality, to begin with, wasn’t great and wouldn’t last as a hand me down.
Why does Ethical Clothing Matter?
The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world. Let that sink in for a moment. It’s only second to fossil fuels. How did it get this way? Globalization increased demand and to keep up they increased production, without caring about the environmental impact. Mass produced clothing can be harsh on nature, the chemicals used get dumped into bodies of water creating pollution. Depending on the country the clothes are produced in, companies have very few restrictions put on where they dump their waste.
As if the environmental impact fast fashion has wasn’t bad enough, we need to bring up their child labor practices. Children are in a very vulnerable position, they have no unions, no voice to fight for their rights and protect them. According to UNICEF, 168 million children ages 5-17 are employed worldwide. The kids are so far down the supply chain they’re no longer visible, making it harder for companies outsourcing labor to say with total certainty they don’t employ children. Subcontractors employ children to cut costs, convincing kids and their families that they will have great opportunities, like getting an education or being paid well for a low-risk job. The reality is far worse, they get paid very little for work that’s extremely high risk, working with heavy machinery and dangerous chemicals.
Switching to Ethical Clothing
We get it. Buying mass produced clothing not ethical fashion is so ingrained in our way of life that it feels impossible to step away from it. Kids especially outgrow their clothes quickly so why should it matter if you continue to buy mass-produced clothing for them? When you make that switch to ethical clothing, you are buying something that is high quality, that will last more than a couple of washes and can be passed down. It reduces waste, saves money in the long run and the best part – you’re not helping to exploit children around the world. Making the move to buy ethical clothing can help the environment and still keep you looking fashionable.
Introducing the Isabella Floral Girl Dress by Treasure Box Kids
A stylish, colorful floral girl dress is always an essential piece of any girls wardrobe. Whether it is spring or summer, or for really any season if the weather allows, kids like to twirl, play, and get down with the world around them.
As always, we’re keeping it comfortable and functional so your child can play all day, but can also dress up if the occasion calls for it. Comfort and style are a dynamic duo, and the cherry on top is the fact that our Isabella is ethically manufactured right here in Central Florida.
Our Floral Girl Dress’s Wear and Care
Treasure Box Kids Navy Blue Daisy Isabella Girls Dress
If you know us, you know we put quality first. Just like all of our other clothes, the $49.95 Isabella Dress is made of hand-selected, 100 percent cotton fabric.
Isabella is soft on the skin and light enough to breathe through a hot summer day. Its A-line fit will give your child room to move, run and stay comfortable through most activities they choose to take part in.
After a hard day’s play, washing will be as easy as the dress’s fit. Throw it in the washer and dryer with your regular cycles and forget about high maintenance care.
Treasure Box Kids Navy Blue Daisy Isabella Girls Dress
Our timeless pieces are made to be worn for years on end. Isabella is a knee length dress, so when purchased she’ll fit as described. As time goes on and your child grows taller, styling the dress with a pair of white leggings will offer a cute and everlasting look.
Both the coral and navy Isabella dresses are fully lined in cotton for your child’s comfort. These styles include varying daisy accents on the sleeves, around the hips and at the bottom of the dresses, giving a subtle yet adorned look that can be dressed up or down.
The fabric we use in these dresses is imported, but its zipper and all of its production is made in the USA. A floral girl dress by TBK will give your child comfort and style while also supporting our community.
How Treasure Box Kids Sources Sustainable, Quality Fabric
Every season, Treasure Box Kids sources materials from fabric shows across the U.S. Our visits are a crucial part of our outfit creation process, as 100 percent of the fabric used in our clothing is bought domestically. This tradition began when we started to manufacture our own clothing. Going to fabric shows not only gives us an up close and personal view of the materials for our lines, but more importantly allows us to scout out local vendors whose production standards line up with the ethics of our manufacturing process.
What Treasure Box Kids Keeps in Mind at Fabric Shows
Fabric comes first.
We craft an outfit around a pattern or texture, so the foundation of our designs is the material we use. An overall quality textile is what we look for, and if they are certified organic it adds big points.
The feel of a fabric is pivotal. We spend a lot of time making sure that the samples we consider would feel soft, comfortable and wearable
Additional qualities we keep in mind are the fabric’s care instructions, how much shrinkage to expect and its weight. Hard to find, unique trims that meet our standards are our goal, and we are often surprised with what we find on our journey.
At our last fashion show, we came across an Eco Twill fabric. This material combines organic cotton and recycled plastic, thus reducing landfill waste with its production. We were impressed with the supplier’s commitment to sustainability, and we are now actively stocking up.
Using renewable fabric is new to us, but is becoming a trend we hope to soon make timeless.
how the fabric feels and is constructed, made, dyed, how durable it is and how it feels
How Fabric Shows Fuel a Treasure Box Kids Passion
At a number of these shows, seminars on textile production are offered. We seize these opportunities to further educate ourselves and are often pleasantly surprised by the new information we find. Through these classes, we’ve learned new dying techniques, why certain types of threads are used for fabrics and many more bits of knowledge that we can then apply into our sourcing tactics.
Learning about these things only compliments our love for design. How fabric can shape an outfit by color, trim, and style is our driving inspiration in clothing creation. In our outfits, you’ll find a variety of color and textures because playing with the feel of clothes to help them reach their full potential is a Treasure Box Kids passion.
We’ve made ethically manufactured kids clothes our business since 2015. Since our inception, we’ve understood how hard it can be to find clothing that is both domestically made and sustainable. If you add kids fashion to that equation, the odds of finding a retailer are even less favorable. It was this problem that drove us to define our mission.
We live in a world where incidents like the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh make the headlines for a few days and are forgotten just as quickly. It’s then no surprise that the practice of fast fashion is so widespread. Our goal as a kids clothing company is to make sure that our process never supports the exploitation of any person, or exposes them to harm.
As part of these goals, we want to give an inside look into our manufacturing practices, sharing with you our steps from creation to finalization, ensuring that the product you get is the product we promise. In our process, you’ll see the path we take to create a high quality, sustainable garment.
The Fabric In Our Ethically Manufactured Kids Clothes
How we select fabric:
TBK goes to regional and national fabric shows every season where we hand-pick fabrics from trusted wholesalers and manufacturers. This process helps us stay in control of the materials that go into our clothes, and ensures that we are supporting U.S.A-made business wherever possible.
The characteristics we choose depend on the season and desired style of the outfit, but overall we look for quality, texture, functionality, color, and print. In our designs, we strive to create clothes that are easy to wear and durable for the needs of a child, while also adhering to designs that are timeless, not trendy.
Read more about our fabric selection process in our post: Behind The Scenes with TBK at a Fabric Show.
Creating Our Ethically Manufactured Kids Clothes
Our guidelines for creating an outfit:
As for any fashion brand, sizing blocks are what make our clothes truly “ours.” We take note of how fast fashion has resulted in decreased sizings. In order to quite literally cut corners, many who practice those methods of manufacturing have sizes that are much smaller than their intended standards. In the creation of our sizing blocks, we kept this in mind and made sure that our clothes would run true to size.
Once a sample garment is created, it is tested out on real kids who give us real feedback on the wearability of a piece. We keep their needs in mind and our experienced seamstresses adjust accordingly. By the end of our trials, our clothes are sure to wear comfortably and fashionably, never bothering, itching, or tugging.
Garments are checked by our seamstresses, pressed and finally approved by TBK management. Before giving the OK for release, sizing is checked, sewing standards are double checked, and all finishing details like packaging are run through.
This process is all done in-house at local Central Florida sewing studios by our trusted staff. On occasion when production is exceptionally large, spot checks are required on top of our traditional process.
A hands-on process is the best way to make sure we do our best work, and the only way we’ve made our ethically manufactured kids clothes.
Didn’t know upcycled fashion existed, you’re about to get a wake-up call. Face it, we all love to shop new clothes. But rarely do we think about where our new clothes, shoes, and accessories come from or how they are made. Not many of us contemplate How Fast Fashion Affects The World before we decide to buy those skinny jeans to match that blouse we just bought at Macy’s. After reading this blog, my goal is for each and every reader to shop conscientiously and before you swipe, think upcycled fashion.
Many garment workers die making clothes for fast fashion brands. Credit: SolidarityCenter.org/ The Crimson Connection
Without Upcycled Fashion, The Fashion Industry Might Just Kill You
We all know that the cars we drive, the fertilizers we use, and the energy we use to keep our homes cool during the summer can harm our environment. But I’m sure you weren’t aware that our shopping habits have the same impact! The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world, right after oil (insert shocked emoji here).
Young workers at a garment factory in Dhaka give jeans a “distressed” look by spraying them with potassium permanganate, a toxic substance that can damage the human nervous system. Only one of the young men is wearing a protective mask. Credit: CBS/ Justin Redman
The fashion industry involves multiple supply chains of production, raw material, textile manufacture, clothing construction, shipping, use and then the disposal of the clothing. The carbon footprint of the fashion industry is massive. And I’m sure we all remember the Bangladesh Garment Factory Disaster in 2013, that left over 1000 people dead. By being aware, we can take a stand to upcycle our clothing and not support Brand Names that source their apparel from high-risk garment factories.
When We Utilize Upcycled Fashion, We Are Keeping Our Air Clean
While most of the clothing from our favorite stores includes cotton, it can take over 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. The pesticides used on the cotton farms, the toxic dyes used and the waste created can all result in negatively impacting our environment. And can stay on your clothes and your children’s clothes for up to 5 washes.
Photo Credit: Ecoterre
Think about how hard it is for you to keep up with the newest trends. When we finally hop onto the current trend, it’s time for a new one. This is called fast fashion. In order for the clothing to reach the retail store from across the globe, loads of clothing travels in containers fueled by dirty fossil fuels. Let’s look at the numbers. Over 20 billion new clothing items are brought to Americans per year and only 2% of those clothes are being domestically manufactured.
Because of Upcycled Fashion, We Have More Money
It’s not uncommon for shoppers to wear an item once or twice before throwing it away for next week’s style. Often due to the poor quality of the clothes causing them to fall apart after several washes. Unfortunately, we’ve all had this happen to us. From the 2015 numbers, The U.S. apparel industry today is a $12 billion business and the average American family spends $1,700 on clothes annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. When we add upcycled clothing to our wardrobe, we can get more variety, better quality and throw away less. The biggest reward is that we will spend less. Isn’t that what we all want, to spend less? Well, when we upcycle our clothes, we can save more and travel or spend time with our family. Did you ever think that upcycled fashion could give you more time with your family?
Photo Credit: Heather Christopher Travel
With Upcycled Fashion, We Are More Creative
There are many ways to repurpose every article of clothing in our closet to keep up with the trends. Welcome to your new favorite term: “upcycle”. No, not recycle, UPCYCLE! This means that instead of recycling, you convert old or discarded materials into something useful and often beautiful. Take your drab t-shirts and turn it into a beautiful maxi dress! Hipcycle explained the difference between recycling as such:
“Plain and simple, upcycling makes a positive impact on the environment. When you upcycle clothes, you remove items from the global garbage stream. Upcycling instead of recycling is good too; recycling requires energy or water to break down materials. Upcycling only requires your own creativity and elbow grease.” How do I start to upcycle fashion?” Take some time this weekend, grab a glass of wine, and go through your closet and your family’s closets. Use your creativity, or Pinterest, for some great ideas. There are a lot of DIY (Do It Yourself)Upcycle Fashion tutorials out there on YouTube as well. If you’re not so DIY savvy, check out your local thrift stores, like GoodWill, Plato’s Closet, consignment stores, or download the ThredUp and Letgo apps on your phone, Check out my favorite upcycled fashion projects I found on Pinterest!
We strive to Make A Difference in the world every day through our clothing lines. I was recently featured on Making A Difference,an afternoon radio segment hosted by Suzanne and Shadow at Z88.3 in Orlando, Florida. It served as a good learning experience for Aly Lewis, who has been working with Treasure Box Kids as the public relations liaison intern for Treasure Box Kids. Making a Difference is a short afternoon segment that airs every Tuesday at 4:55 P.M. The segment features local business people or volunteers that are truly making a difference in the community and in the world. It was an honor to be featured in one of the segments this past month. You can listen to my interview here:
Higher viewing quality available by clicking the settings symbol in the video and changing the Quality to HD.
Being able to share what my company does to Make A Difference on this segment was a unique experience. It was a fun and exciting thing to be able to share my experience as well as my passion for helping people with my fellow listeners of Z88.3. As heard in the interview, I touched on the efforts that Treasure Box Kids as a company is making in the local community and the great strides that we have made in Kenya to help women who are in need.
From Left to Right: Shadow, Carolyn Bailey, Aly Lewis, Suzanne
The process was so much fun and went by smoothly! Aly and I arrived at the studio at 1:00 P.M. We were warmly greeted by different staff members, all as friendly as the last. The reception room was very comfortable and pleasant. When Suzanne and Shadow were ready for us, we followed them back into one of their recording studios. They showed a great passion for the good of the community and also showed genuine interest in the things I was saying. It was heartwarming to see the kind of a family setting I’ve imagined while listening to their radio station.
Make A Difference With Z88.3
I have been a regular listener of Z88.3 for a few years now. I spend a great deal of time driving in high-stress traffic situations on my commute in the mornings and evenings. This radio station helps make the commute less stressful, through their music that is very calming, uplifting, and inspirational. The hosts remind me with their encouraging words that I am not alone on this journey of life.
It was a blessing to have been a part of the Z88.3 family during my interview experience. I can’t thank Suzanne and Shadow enough for giving me the opportunity to share my ability to Make A Difference on this afternoon segment!