A quick search for ‘hand me down’ turns up all sorts of negative connotations: ‘cheap’, ‘shabby’, ‘used’, ‘no good’.
Do you remember when all kids’ clothes were passed around? Raise your hand if you wore the same outfits as your brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbours…? Second hand clothes were not something to be sneered at – you eagerly awaited your turn! As a child, my favourite clothes were the ones that had belonged to my older (and therefore terrifically cool) cousins. I loved getting their clothes and I wore them with pride and when I was done, they went to my brother and my younger cousins. We didn’t call them ‘vintage’ and yet no one turned down their noses at them. It was just what you did and it was the way it had worked since human beings had first covered themselves. We didn’t waste things. Everyone did it – regardless of their background or bank account.
Exactly how, when and why this changed is the topic of endless research and essays. Suffice it to say that somewhere along the way, we started spending our money less wisely, on lesser quality goods. Suddenly everything we bought was made on distant shores so that it could be produced on the cheap (a topic for another day) and we were clamouring for more and more. Our wardrobes and drawers started to overflow and most of the stuff didn’t even get worn. Our consuming is now out of control and most of us have the debt load to prove it. We’re teaching our kids to be bad consumers. And they are missing out on an essential childhood experience. Hand me downs are part of being a kid.
One of the most important things to us at The Fableists, is to make clothes that can be passed on from one child to another. To that end, we’ve designed the majority of our clothes to be worn by both girls and boys. They are made of 100% organic cotton using natural dyes that aren’t polluting the planet (and no chemicals will seep in through your child’s skin, either). They are made of thick materials so that they’ll last. If you wash them in cold water and hang them up, they’ll last longer (and you won’t have to iron them – result!). We want you to buy less of our clothes and wear them more and wear them longer.
So think of buying from The Fableists as an investment in ‘future vintage’. Think of how excited future kids will be when our clothes are handed down to them!