We met with Megan Landreth-Smith, the lovely Mama behind ourslowhome.co.uk – a blog which encourages living a more conscious and sustainable life. Megan is passionate about living slow and a lover of fair fashion so we thought she would be the perfect person to talk us through her take on creating a capsule wardrobe…
It was during my first pregnancy that I started to become aware of what I was buying not only for myself but in preparation for the arrival of my little one. As I dug deeper into the world of fast fashion I began to question whether buying double the amount of baby grows for my convenience was really worth it? Who had stitched the bumper packs of babies bodies? And, what on earth were they made of?
These were the questions I first asked on a sustainability journey that then made me assess so many other areas of my life. It’s a journey that has led me to become highly intentional about the clothes we bring into our home, consciously creating a wardrobe for myself and my kids that tell a story and while they’ve taken me a while to curate, they are full of treasured items built to last.
The concept of the capsule wardrobe has had a revival in recent years both for its positive impact on the planet and lessened ‘decision fatigue’. While it was originally applied to the working women with the ‘7 easy pieces’ in more recent years it has evolved and can easily be translated to every member of society, including our young ones. The essential idea of a capsule wardrobe is that it consists of an intentionally curated number of pieces that complement each other and can be styled multiple ways.
Here are some tips for creating a capsule wardrobe:
1. BUY LESS, BUY BETTER This is probably one of the key messages of a capsule wardrobe. As people become more aware of the impact their fashion choices have on the planet, people are beginning to vote with their money for a better future. People are beginning to want clothes where those who have made them have been paid a fair wage, part of a small collection perhaps from an independent brand making them more unique rather than a bigger high street brand, and where the impact of production on the planet has been considered. I personally also look for brands similar to Organic Zoo that are committed to making clothes that are kind to our skin- free of chemicals and made of materials that hold up well to washing and wearing. Buying better means I also buy with the intention of something lasting longer too, this usually means I size up and pick a gender neutral colour with the thought they could be passed on to siblings or friends. Buying better also affects the choices I make surrounding buying, meaning that the clothes in our capsule are seasonless, clothing usually without slogans or bold prints that will go out of fashion and work well as a collection together complementing each other. The ‘better’ also doesn’t mean something needs to be new, or necessarily expensive. 80% of what we own as a family is second hand, allowing for me to invest in great companies with a great ethos for the other 20%.
2. RE-WEAR AND MEND- It’s very normal to want to throw a whole item in the wash after one wear or we notice a little paint mark or raspberry stain on the front. Could you spot clean instead? Could you get another sleep out of the sleepsuit? Re-wearing is counter-cultural but really leads the way for our kids to treasure what they own- we as adults can learn from this too. Does a jumper have a hole or a top a missing button? There are lots of places you can purchase basic sewing kits to have on hand to do a simple bit of mending, and if you’re not seasoned in this why not watch a YouTube tutorial to learn or ask someone more experienced to teach you! Let’s revive the art of mending clothes!
3. FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR CHILD- Capsule wardrobes will evolve as your child grows. I currently have a group of beautiful unworn dresses sat in my daughter’s drawers because her current preference is comfort meaning leggings and a t-shirt- a recent switch within the last 6 months as she is becoming more capable, and learning more about herself. Is your daughter a climber and your son a muddy puddle finder? Think comfort and versatility and respect their freedom of movement. Is your baby crawling? They probably don’t want to be in a tight pair of jeans. Do they have favourite colours or styles? Do you live in the city or in the country? Does your child enjoy particular textures over others? Organic cotton is a great one because of its softness and is often suited to children who have sensory processing disorders because of this, merino wool is another great fabric that is thermoregulating making it perfect for varying seasons without having to buy extra clothes.
4. IT’S NOT A FORMULA- Creating a capsule wardrobe doesn’t have to be rigid. As with anything in parenthood, find what works for you and your family. The amount of clothes you may need will differ based on location, whether your child is a dribbler, spitter-upper or nappy exploder and may differ depending on your laundry schedule. It may also differ as you are given hand me downs or gifts and your capsule evolves. Allow yourself flexibility and make it fun.
Here is how a basic capsule wardrobe could look for a baby:
- 4-5 bottoms
- 1 smarter outfit (dress or romper)
- 5-6 bodies
- 4-5 socks
- 6 baby grows/onesies
- 3 jumpers/cardigan
- 2 coats/jacket
- 2 hats/bonnets
5. GO SLOW- it’s not a race, don’t chuck out loads of clothes for the sake of minimalism. Ultimately the most sustainable item is the one already in your/their closet. Creating a capsule wardrobe can take time, it takes time to find the brands that you love and trust. I love that Organic Zoo has all the key baby pieces, all organic cotton, and made with value and care so they work as great staples for the capsule wardrobe. One of the great benefits of a capsule wardrobe is that it’s thought to alleviate stress- there is a less of a thought process when dressing either yourself or your kids. I love how this impacts our kids as we dress them too- creating a positive experience.
So, have fun with it! Creating a simple, ethical and treasured wardrobe can be enjoyable and freeing. Be patient, and find what works for you as a family and discover treasures and well loved items to pass down from child to child. I love the conversations I get to have with my daughter surrounding clothing, how we buy and why we buy, and a capsule wardrobe opens up these perfectly. It massively benefits both you and the planet, so what’s stopping you?
Our collections have always been inspired by ‘ the living better with less’ philosophy, so we are excited to share with you our top picks for baby and toddlers capsule wardrobe.
Have a look, get inspired, mix, match and have fun!
BABY 7 PIECE CAPSULE WARDROBE
Earth Dots Bonnet
Grey Bunny Jersey
Olive Garden Suit with Contrast Feet
Cottonfield Bloomers with Braces
Pebble Midnight Wrap Bodysuit
Pebble Midnight Salopettes