As you might know by now I’m a huge fan of Scandinavian design – and this love also extends to children’s clothing. In the UK you’ll usually find a clear divide between the sexes, with blue for boys and pink for girls. If there are unisex clothes it’ll be boring white most of the time. I always struggle to find clothes I like for Lana and Maya – and especially durable and practical yet stylish clothes that will keep my girls warm and dry. And prints that I like are also hard to find! But who knows, I probably just haven’t been looking hard enough.
Lana needs a new mid season jacket for spring/autumn, and especially after the zip on her winter coat from Zara broke (will need to see if I can get it fixed or take it back) I decided I don’t want to turn to high street, fast fashion brands. Instead I started searching for a high quality jacket among Finnish brands. My sister-in-law has kept me up-to-date with some of the brands, but a lot of the ones I came across are new to me.
Something I find amazing is that for these brands it’s all about organic and ecological materials, sustainable and ethical production, playful and cool unisex prints, functionality, transparency and durability. What more can you ask for?! The clothes are a bit more expensive than what you’ll find in H&M or Next, but they will last longer and can be passed on to younger siblings. Plus you’ll know that you’re supporting a company that makes ethical and sustainable choices. I’d like to move towards having less clothes but of better quality, both for me and the kids – if you spend more on quality but less often the price difference should even itself out.
So as I was doing my research I came across some supercool Finnish brands I thought you should know about as well!
This chic brand is all about playful unisex patterns and high quality fabrics. You won’t find that pink/blue divide here! Vimma sell clothes for babies, kids and women – for every day use or more festive occasions. The patterns are designed by Finnish and a few Japanese designers, and the fabrics are printed in the Baltic countries. The fabrics are also for sale so that you can sew your own clothes with them if you like. I love this tunic dress for Lana that I think looks so comfy and stylishly monochrome. It costs around £32, which I don’t think is that bad at all.
This is a brand which is very popular in Finland and I knew about from before. All their products have been manufactured with ecological, high quality materials and at the moment their website is full of beautiful spring colours. I think their outwear and beanies are their best sellers, and I think the jacket above is a contender for Lana’s new spring coat. The material is breathable and water resistant and has all sorts of certificates – and I like the fact that it’s quite long and that the zip is covered. Not sure about which of the colours I would choose though – it needs to be a colour I won’t get bored of as Maya would be wearing it too. It costs around £118 so I would have to be completely sure before I buy.
Lana has a lovely yellow crane-patterned dress by Nosh that is incredibly soft and has long been one of her favourites. And it’s not even pink! I think it must just feel really soft against the skin, in addition to being really comfortable – plus I’ve washed it so many times and it still looks new. Nosh specialise in designing top quality organic and functional clothing for kids and adults. They also sell their fabrics and organise “Nosh parties”, which my sister-in-law is planning on hosting. On the international site you can still only buy fabrics in case you’re wondering – so you’ll just have to get sewing! All the kids clothes are made using double sizing to ensure the child can wear the garment for longer. They also have long cuffs on wrists and ankles for the same reason. I’d love to see Lana in this Sora dress that retails for around £33!
“Fashion with a mission” and “Ethic & Aesthetic” is the values behind Kaiko clothing. They make ethically produced children’s clothes and they donate 7% of the profit towards the education of women and children in developing countries. Respect to that. They’re all about clear lines and cool colours and designs. So refreshing that their spring/summer collection isn’t full of pastels – you see enough of that this time of year anyway! I love the pattern on the Brush leggings, which cost around £30.
The finnish word “Aarre” means treasure, and treasures is exactly what their site is full of. Aarrekid is about timeless and durable clothes, fearless unisex prints and they even consider fast fashion a curse word. Amen to that. All their clothes are made in the same sewing factory in Northern Portugal and they believe that transparent production equals sustainable clothing – something I totally agree with! Again, Aarrekid also sell their fabrics – seems to be quite a popular thing in Finland. I’m starting to feel really inspired to get my own sewing machine out! Maya would look so cute in this Kimono Body in their beautiful Sunset pattern which costs around £25.
Metsola is a family business that has been around for a while. They sell high quality, comfortable and timeless children’s and women’s clothes in fun and fresh colours. Also check out their knit collection for some good quality hats and scarves. I love this Desert Flower frill sweatshirt that comes in so many lovely colours! It retails for around £28.
Lots of character, playful designs and easy to maintain comfy clothes for babies through to 12-year-olds is what Mainio is made of. Mainio means great or excellent btw. They say they are fascinated by wild and even weird combinations of colours – love this statement. My sister-in-law got Lana a gorgeous black and white dress and it’s probably the piece of clothing she has worn for the longest period of time – and I can’t wait for Maya to start wearing it too! Mainio clothes are manufactured in a certified factory in Tirupur, India, which they have visited several times and they donate 2% of sales to improve the welfare of the immediate community of the factory. When purchasing you also have the choice to donating the same percentage, which I think is great. There’s a whole page about production with photos from the factory – transparency is important for Mainio too. This tunic dress with a hood costs around £44 is something I know Lana would love to wear.
This brand that I hadn’t heard about has such a cute name; the Finnish word “papu” means bean. I feel like I’m repeating myself here, but here we have another Finnish clothing brand that is all about timeless designs, playful prints and ethically produced clothes. The garments are double sized and made from organic cotton or recycled fibres and all products are made in Finland, Portugal or other European countries, which allows Papu to monitor the supply chain closely. They have over 70 retailers abroad, so this is a brand that will most likely be available wherever you are. This fox sweatshirt is so simple yet so clever and will set you back around £42 – and they make a dress version for adults too!
What do you think??
I have to say I’m very impressed with these clothing brands and how they are trying to do the right thing. It’s also refreshing to see how transparent they are and that the comfort and wellbeing of the child is a priority. Many high street brands here make trendy clothes for kids, but the materials are often of low quality and the designs are impractical.
I’m sure there are British children’s clothing brands that are doing the whole ethical thing as well – I need to do some research. If you know any nice brands do let me know!
x Nina x