From Garbage To Garments: Upcycled Fashion For Kids

Sure, we pass a lot of things down to our kids – our personality traits, quirky preferences and even bad habits (I’m halfway convinced Bee will suck her thumb until she’s in sixth grade, just like her mother!). Yet here’s a refreshing thought: why not pass along our clothing, as well? After all, siblings share hand-me-downs – why shouldn’t the parents join the party, too?

It’s precisely this premise that inspired designer Karina Kallio to fashion her Brooklyn-based clothing line, KaLLio . “As a concept designer for a major mainstream brand, I encountered a lot of waste,” she writes. “It really bothered to me see so many perfectly good textiles and useful garments thrown away.” Naturally, she began gathering pre-loved men’s shirts and creating imaginative outfits from the fabric remnants – building an ethically sustainable business along the way.

The concept conjures up memories of one of my favorite Sound of Music scenes where Maria fashions play clothes for the von Trapp children out of dated draperies from her bedroom. “By taking a men’s shirt – something that is usually a reference to the stress of daily office life – and re-imagining it into a fun, playful dress for a little girl, we can start to see the new and endless possibilities,” writes Kallio.

And to me, that’s where the beauty of the concept lives – not in the obvious benefits of encouraging children to recycle and reuse. But instead, in the idea that we, as parents, might offer them a tangible example of what happens when we break down the difficult, stressful parts of our lives and piece them back together to experience something inspired.

Image Credits: KaLLio

Just for fun: Upcycled nursery mobiles and recycled 3d model vespas.

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