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"Sweating the Small Stuff!"
Kim and I can find lots of topics and points to disagree on, and do often! but we never disagree when it comes to baby's comfort, so when we design our clothes, of course, comfort is the most important factor … but comfort doesn’t need to be dull and boring! We want our products to not only feel great but look awesome as well. Of course, the pre-requisite for any designer is being passionate about style, fabric and design – and that’s what we are about! Kids really do just want to have fun, and how better to do that than in clothes that look awesome and are super soft on their skin! Here’s some of the details we consider …
Sizing always makes us laugh – my babies were tiny little people that were still wearing 00 and 0 when they were 18 months – 2 years of age, whilst Kim’s babies were at the other end of the sizing spectrum, starting in 00 as newborns – so we always keep in mind when designing that clothing is suitable for the larger as well as the small babies and toddlers.
This can be quite tricky to get just right! Fortunately, our designers are very skilled and very experienced at what they do, and we are confident that our sizing across all our products are consistent – we probably err on the side of generous, so please consider this.
There are some rules of thumb when selecting sizing – see our blog Sleeping in Stillettos!
We have talked about GOTS certified organic cotton, and can only reinforce the benefits of pesticide and chemical free fabric on your little one's delicate and sensitive skin. All Cute As Designer Range products are made with 100% organic cotton. Additionally, the majority of our products are made with knits which stretches and moves with babies and toddlers as they develop their gross motor skills - from rolling over to jumping and running! - our products move with them! Just be aware that some fabrics, such as heavy woven denim jeans whilst look trendy and cool, they are also heavy and restrict free and easy movement.
You can find out more on Organic vs non-Organic in our blog Why Should I Care?.
Colours and Prints
What works well together, what creates a story – take our owl collection for example, we tried many different colours until we landed with the cream edging and contrast and this is because the ‘star of the show’ were the owls and cream allowed them to ‘pop’. What we found with the darker contrast was the garments looked one-dimensional – that is, a bit flat and a but dull. We also considered the different colouring of babies and toddlers and want as many of our garments to suit most complexions.
When considering colours and prints, we choose small prints that are suitable for the age group (as well as being suitable for small clothes!) and because kids love colour, we choose brighter coloured fabrics that are fun and vibrant - just like their developing personalities as they explore their new world - kids really do just wanna have fun!
Wants and Needs:
This is an important aspect of designing and being able to transition to the concept to sketch and placement of detail – even down to the finest detail of where the labels are best placed – it may seem silly, but these things really do matter! Especially on baby and toddler wear, labels can irritate and annoy anyone, but especially a young child. Seriously, this is where you have to ‘sweat the small stuff’! Because the end-point is designing products that you, our valued customers, want in style and need in comfort. Remember that babies not only sleep up to 18 hours per day, but they can’t rearrange their clothing if that annoying label is sticking into their delicate skin!
It would be remiss not to consider pricing as part of the overall equation. Of course, we use the very best quality 100% GOTS certified organic fabric with all our designer products, and the investment in the quality of the products you purchase from us is a saving in the durability and wear from the garment. That said, we keep our prices affordable without compromising of ethics of quality. Remember that our vision and commitment is ‘Comfort by Design’!
Yours in design
Kim & Kate
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Kids Just Wanna Have Fun!
When we set out on our journey of designing our own brand of baby and toddler clothing we put significant thought into what we wanted to achieve. Our focus was on three main points, being Comfort, Quality and Design. We searched the world for the best fabrics. And where we landed was in the land of GOTS!!! (Global Organic Textile Standards). In the end the answer was simple!
Let us share a little of our story
Both of us had babies with severe skin allergies and had we known what we know now about organic vs non-organic cotton we would have made different choices about the clothing we were dressing our babies in (and this would have had such a significant impact on their comfort and wellbeing) and it reminded us of how heartbreaking it was to see them in pain and discomfort.
Writing this blog brings to mind Kim’s daughter who was born with almost transparent white skin that was so so delicate (of course with her huge blue eyes she was adorable as you can imagine). At about 2 months of age she developed what was thought at the time to be severe cradle cap, only it turned out to be severe eczema which then spread across her whole body, and the sores would split and ooze to the extent that Kim would have to bathe her clothes off her every morning as they would stick to her skin.
After countless hours of brainstorming, what it came down to was really this - how can we use our experiences, knowledge and better understanding of fabric to benefit others – not just those with skin allergies but all little one’s as they all have such delicate and sensitive skin. For more information on this, read our blog organic vs non-organic.
But there was more to it!
Now here comes the real passion! Not only is it about the comfort, but it is also about the ‘look’! and after significant research and discussions with new mums, what we started to get a picture of was clothing that felt great, looked great, was non-restrictive (because kids are constantly on the move) that was age appropriate as well.
What also influenced our thinking was the greater awareness (and increasing trend) of children with sensory processing disorders – that is, where the processing of ‘tactile’ information from the body to the brain can be interpreted as unpleasant or threatening (that is, the clothing is scratchy, irritating and uncomfortable).
These were clear messages that we were receiving from our new generation of mums. So, it was with this in mind that our ‘comfort by design’ was conceived.
But isn’t organic expensive?
Okay, good question! We wanted our products to be accessible and affordable to a broad range of new mums – we genuinely care about the comfort of your little ones. And we seriously consider this as an ethical approach to our business and how we cost our products. What we can assure you of is that we use top quality fabrics that are GOTS certified approved. See what's so great about organic cotton for more information on GOTS
And where you save money is in the quality and the durability of our products – remember that buying organic is an investment! It is longer lasting and remarkably grows softer with each wash … seriously, your little one will by easily out-grow our outfits and wraps long before there is any chance of them ‘wearing it out’ … and in the interim they will be comfortable and snug!
Our vision and our commitment is ‘Comfort by Design’ because what your little one wears ... does matter!
Keeping it green and clean
Kim & Kate
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Organic vs non-Organic – What’s the difference?
The simple answer is because GOTS Organic Cotton is better quality (softer, more durable – and seriously, you can feel the difference), it is produced in toxin free environments where labour is regulated in accordance with the International Labour Organisation standards, and it is better for the environment and the future of our planet. But let’s take a closer look ...
Quality of the Fibre
The length of the cotton fibre has a lot to do with the quality - the longer the fibre the softer the cotton. And the purity of the fibre is contingent on how it is picked (hand-picked or machine-picked). As Organic Cotton is hand-picked the fibres aren’t broken, resulting in both softer and durable products. Conversely, regular cotton is machine-picked resulting in shorter and damaged fibre which produces a poorer quality product.
Health and Wellbeing
Everything you wear that touches your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream (and for babies and toddlers their delicate skin is a thin barrier). Your regular cotton is the most pesticide intensive crop in the world! More than 25% of pesticides used in farming are used on cotton alone, and they include highly toxic insecticides and carcinogens.
GOTS certified Organic Cotton is grown in soil that has been chemical free for a minimum of three (3) years and the process of producing Organic Cotton is toxin free from field to factory. Be aware though that you can purchase Organic Cotton that is not GOTs certified, and sadly they are not certified because they have been contaminated through the use of toxic dyes and chemicals. Read more about GOTs (Global Organic Textile Standards) here.
Social and Ethical
Not only does GOTS relate to the quality of the fabric (ensuing compliance with standards such as no formaldehyde, no pesticides, no chlorine bleach), it also regulates ethical social standards – such as, no child labour, no animal cruelty, workers are paid a fair wage and have fair working condition – these and other key principles must be met by processors and manufacturers.
GOTS certified Organic Cotton is sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable! Did you know that up to 250ml (1 cup) of chemicals are typically used to produce just one single (non-organic) cotton t-shirt? As most cotton farmers are located near river catchments, the drainage and run-off into the rivers is having a significant impact on the eco-systems, as well as contaminating drinking water.
Feel free to browse our store and check out our Cute As Organic products that are made with GOTS certified Organic Cotton. All of our Cute As Designer range are not only made from GOTS certified Organic Cotton but are also made right here in Australia!
Keeping it clean and green
Kim & Kate
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As we approach Australian Day weekend, it is anticipated that the temperatures will soar over 30oC across Oz, with crazy 37oC in Central and South Australia! Alongside the temperature, it is important to listen out for the UV index – and remember 11+ is ‘extreme’ – like today (22 January 2018), across the Nation the UV Index was rated at Extreme.
What exactly does the UV index mean, you ask? It is simply a way of describing UV radiation intensity. The higher the number the higher the danger.
Check out the free SunSmart App which recommends what sun protection you require for your location (in real time) using forecast information from a range of source, including the Bureau of Meteorology.
Please, over this coming long weekend, remember to SLIP, SLOP, SLAP!
Cancer Council Australia also recommends SunSmart App to check local UV levels and recommended sun protection. They further recommend, because babies and children’s skin is so delicate to cover as much of your little one’s skin as possible with loose fitting close (tight weave), wraps and wide brim or bucket style hats and apply sunscreen to any exposed skin. Cancer Council Australia recommends using sunscreen labelled ‘broad-spectrum, water-resistant and SPF30+ or above” (remember to check expiry date). For further information on different sunscreen options can be found Cancer Council Australia Shop.
And for a little extra protection for your little one, check out our Hooded Beach Poncho’s made with 100% Organic Terry Cotton that is both comfortable and breathable; and our range of Dozer and Millymook sun-hats – the majority are reversible, have chin cords (to keep them in place) and offer UPF50+ sun protection.
Kate & Kim