Ethical Outerwear for Children: An Interview with Faire Child

juniors-anorak-jacket-with-childrens-rain-hats.jpg

My New Neighbour has never specifically covered ethical children's clothing because..

1) We don't have children and;

2) We honestly hadn't been super inspired by any ethical children's brands yet. Sure it's cute, but is it durable? is it environmentally responsible? is it changing children's fashion for the better? 

When we got an email from Nova Scotia-based children's outwear company, Faire Child, sharing their eco-innovative, closed-loop production model and high quality products for children we were thrilled to agree to share their story with our readers. We know that whether you have kids or not, their push for a more sustainable children's clothing industry is sure to inspire any ethical shopper! 

What we love about Faire Child.

Faire Child creates windproof, waterproof and breathable children's outerwear that is ethically crafted from 100% recycled materials. The high quality and timeless pieces are adjustable so children can grow into them, durable enough to be handed down, and are recyclable when the piece has reached the end of it's life. Even their packaging is environmentally friendly! 

We interviewed Faire Child to get a closer look into the inspiration and innovation behind this ethical Canadian brand!

This post is sponsored* by Faire Child. 

kids-having-picnic-toddler-outdoor-clothing.jpg

Describe Faire Child in 3 words:

Innovative, Inspiring and Playful

What initially inspired the creation of Faire Child?

Faire Child is inspired by the joy of a child engaged in the outdoors. We want kids to be able to get outside, whatever the weather, and learn and interact with their natural world.

Where does the name Faire Child come from?

Our founder Tabitha's friend and mentor, Julie Clark from Province Apothecary, helped with the name! It’s a play on the French word Faire which is the verb meaning "to make or do", and was an instant hit. It plays nicely into our vision to see kids stepping away from their screens and towards healthy, active lifestyles.

kid-playing-in-puddle-in-waterproof-rainpants.jpg

How is Faire Child unique?

What makes us unique is how Tabitha Osler’s passion for environmental responsibility has driven each and every design decision.

We have partnered with German company, Sympatex, who are leading the way in terms of circular textiles. The fabric we use is 100% made from recycled PET bottles. Using rPET is pretty common but what makes our clothing different is that it’s made from recycled materials and its recyclable. After many years, and being passed from child to child, when our garments are at the end of their life they are sent back to Faire Child and we make sure that they re-enter the recycling process and to be turned back into a new resource. This is an endlessly reusable model for children’s outerwear.

What are the main goals of Faire Child?

I already talked a bit about our goal to get kids outdoors and protect them from the elements but our goals are farther reaching than that. Another goal is to inspire children to see waste as a resource in the same way that we are using plastic water bottles to make our clothing. We want to see a future generation of conscious, responsible consumers whose decisions are influenced by their positive experiences and respect of the earth.

Which of your products would you recommend as a first buy for new customers and why?

The Rain Coat is the cornerstone of our collection. It is 100% waterproof and is great for puddle jumping and being out and about on rainy day. The timeless, smart design also means it will pair with your child's ‘Sunday best’. Some other great features are the side gussets that provide ease of movement, tasteful reflective patches, and the detachable hood.

kids-wearing-waterproof-pants-and-raincoat-outerwear.jpg

Which milestone are you most proud of?

We’ve hit so many new milestones so far, like a successful Kickstarter campaign. That being said I think the event that was most celebrated was when we got our first batch of product from our sewers here in Dartmouth. Having jackets, rain pants and caps, the design of which has been thoughtfully considered to even the smallest detail, stocked on our shelves, made everything seem real. We toasted with Prosecco that afternoon!

What does a typical day at Faire Child look like?

We are a tiny, but busy team in a tiny but busy studio space! We are a team of three – Tabitha Osler is the designer and director of Faire Child and Alissa and Brianna help with marketing and some other tasks. Since we are such a new company a big chunk of our time is currently being spent getting the word out there and telling people about what we are doing. Tabitha visits our production partners, Climate Technical Gear, at least once a week. They are just a 15 minute drive away. Having our sewers be local is huge for us. We usually end the day by shipping off orders – our favourite thing!

CTGxFASHREV_lowres-5.jpg

What are your favourite ethical fashion brands for adults? For children?

There are a couple of us here in the office and collectively our favourite brands for adults are Eileen Fisher, Hoi Bo, Honest By and Osei-duro

When it comes to children’s clothing we are big fans of Luv Motheranother Canadian company. They make merino under layers for kids that are great for Fall, Winter and early Spring. They have been very thoughtful about the materials they source and make a beautiful product. We also love the linen rompers and shorts from Red Creek Kids for summer.

What advice do you have for other people trying to enter into the ethical fashion market?

It’s important to ask the hard questions. When you are working with a potential supplier you need to be asking about their certifications – whether that’s Oeko-tex and bluesign like we use, or others that are internationally recognized. Get your suppliers to trace back through the supply chain so you know where your product is being made, who is making it and where that raw material is coming from. The more information you get the better. If they can’t comply you should rethink working with them. In this way designers can put pressure on the industry to start making positive change.

girls-waterproof-trousers-kids-playing-by-ocean.jpg

What initially inspired your ethical fashion journey?

Before starting Faire Child I worked in luxury women’s wear. It is there that I was surrounded by waste that is inherent with the fashion industry, especially the luxury fashion industry. I knew it wasn’t sustainable.

Where is your favourite place to rest?

In the bath!

What do you love about where you live?

The ocean.

If we came to visit your city, what are 3 of your favourites places we should see?

Well, we love being outside! Our office is in Dartmouth but we are still part of the greater city of Halifax and the Halifax peninsula is just a short ferry ride away.

The Public Gardens is a great space to be in the summer. There are walking trails through the gardens, delicious ice cream and often live music on the weekends.

Point Pleasant Park is another great outdoor space and a great place to bring a picnic. There are plenty of spots along the harbour to relax.

You also can’t come out here without a visit to one of our beautiful beaches! Whether you want to take a surfing lesson or just take in the view, the ocean is such a draw for locals and visitors. We recommend Lawrencetown Provincial Park for surfing,  Martinique Beach for a really kid friendly beach and Crystal Cresent for beautiful turquoise water (it may look tropical but it’s very chilly!).

What are your favourite ways to shop ethically or locally where you live? 

We have had some really great options pop up and fill a real need for ethically and locally made in the past few years. For women’s clothing Sattva Boutique is our go-to. They carry so many great Canadian brands like Amanda Moss, Atelier B and Jennifer Glasgow.

Lil Lou’s is a curated selection of  children’s second hand clothes located inside Lost and Found. They have the cutest vintage pieces for littles.

We also love our two local handmade markets, Halifax Crafters and Dartmouth Makers. There you can find everything from housewares to delicious culinary treats to clothing.

What can we look forward to in Faire Child’s future?

We just released a new colourway this month. We also get A LOT of requests for adult sizes so we are researching and looking into expanding our size range.

We want to give huge props to Faire Child for pushing the children's clothing industry to new levels of ethics and accountability! Want to find the perfect Faire Child product for your child? Take their quiz here

*When we say this post was sponsored by Faire Child we are saying they paid us for our time and for our platform to bring attention to their brand. All of the money from sponsored posts is used to pay for the fees associated with running My New Neighbour. We only say yes to sponsored posts when we truly love a brand's story.