From a pair of comfortable trousers to children’s clothes that grow
My name is Elena and I created Babbily. It started as a personal quest to make some comfortable trousers for my son. And it grew from there.
I learned to sew when I was a teenager. I just loved the idea of making something new and unique from old clothes, although upcycling wasn’t really at the top of the list of fashionable hobbies at the time.
After my son was born, it was natural that I returned to my upcycling hobby, making trousers for my son out of his daddy’s old pajamas and any scraps of fabric I could find around the house. My son’s clothes got lots of compliments, but it wasn’t the cuteness factor that made me think.
Like every new parent I couldn’t believe how fast my little boy grew up – or how often I needed to buy new clothes for him. I also noticed how restrictive and obviously uncomfortable many store-bought trousers and onesies were, compared to the ones I was making.
The only other option was baggy tracksuit-style sweatpants. But like the other shop-bought trousers they also tended to wear into holes quickly.
Surely I could do better.
That was the start of the Babbily idea: to make comfortable and durable clothes that grow with your child. The trousers I originally created for my son were still going strong when my daughter arrived, so I added dresses and more tops to the collection. And I have lots more ideas still in development!
Babbily is the result of years of experimenting and learning by doing. But from Day 1 I have known that I want to do much more than just make some colourful party pieces.
Here are a few things that have guided me from the beginning.
- Small children need clothes designed for small children
We all know that small children are not miniature copies of adults. Their little bodies are all built differently, they grow and develop at different speeds, and most importantly they are constantly on the move and physically active. Their clothes should accommodate this and help them explore – not just be cut-down versions of what their parents wear.
- Childrenswear can and should be designed and built to last
No self-respecting six-year-old would wear anything as ancient as dad’s favourite old jumper. But there’s also no reason why parents should have to buy their children new clothes every few weeks. Designed and made properly, kid’s clothes can last (almost) as long as their parents’.
- Children’s clothing should be safe, healthy and sustainable
I’ve always reused and upcycled old clothes and fabrics. And the more I’ve learned about textiles and manufacturing processes, the more strongly I’ve come to believe that we need to make more with less, cut down on chemicals and use sustainable processes. Otherwise there might not be anything of the planet left for our children to enjoy.
This is just the beginning of the journey. But I hope Babbily will grow into what it aspires to be – a one-stop shop for durable, comfortable and sustainable clothing for children.