Kids clothes = very cool pieces to dress your kids in. When it comes to clothing for your children, it's not all about how cool they look, it's also about knowing where the garments are being made and who's making them. There are a lot of great brands out there that are not organic, which is ok but it's important for the brand to manufacture responsibly. Are the workers getting a decent wage, is their working environment safe? These are questions we should be asking. As a parent I want to educate myself and my children on buying responsibly. Supporting brands that take great care of our environment and our kids helps change the way we look at fast fashion. This is why I love Lucy & Leo. Everything about this brand is organic and responsible. Rachel Mednick started the brand after she graduated from Drextel University with a degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. Using scraps left over from her university fashion projects she decided to lake something nice for her cousin Lucy. And as they say the rest is history.
When buying Lucy & Leo, as a parent you can rest assure your child is wearing quality, beautifully made organic garments. And another great thing, it's made in NY. Not only is she encouraging organic and responsible production, she is supporting her local manufacturers! By combining stylish and modern designs with organic fabrics, Rachel is changing the way society looks at the eco market! You can be eco and stylish at the same time!!!!
Lucy & Leo range includes organic clothing for your little ones ages, 0-5 years, organic baby and mama skincare, toys & accessories and gifts sets!!! Check out Lucy & Leo's lovely collection here: lucyandleo.com
I had the great pleasure of chatting with Rachel, owner and designer of Lucy and Leo, read on to find out more about her great brand!!!!
1. Tell me about yourself. What is your background?
I grew up in a home that was always filled with creativity, lots of craft projects, cooking, painting and sewing. I knew that I had to do something creative as a career and decided to go to school for Fashion Design and Merchandising at Drexel University. I loved learning how to make patterns and sew as well as learning about merchandising and the business side of the industry. After college I was lucky to have jobs that allowed me to have a lot of different things, I got to be a buyer, do window displays, merchandise product in store, launch a magazine and be an Art Director for it. With all of these cool things I still felt like something was missing, I got to be creative but not in my own way.
2. What inspired you to start Lucy & Leo Clothing?
I had just graduated from college and had bins of scrap fabric left over and nothing to do with them. Always keeping the environment in mind and not wanting to just throw away fabric, I used the scrap fabric to make appliques for clothing. Around this same time my cousin Lucy was born and I started making some outfits for her as gifts. Everyone loved them and decide that I should make more and test it out on the market. The business was at that time called Lucykids. A few years after selling in markets and deciding that this is what I wanted to do full time, Lucy’s brother Leo was born. It was right around the same time that I was ready to re-launch my brand and the name was just perfect! I wanted to create a brand that was all organic and made in USA, which at that time did not exist.
3. What sets you apart from other kidswear brands? What do you want your customer to know about you?
Lucy & Leo is different from other kids brands in many ways, not only are we organic and made in USA, but we also plant a tree for every item that is purchased through an organization called Trees for the Future. We are a small brand that wants to support families and give them products that they feel good about putting on their children. We also have a pretty unique style and are able to make soft organic clothing that is still trendy and cool.
4. Sustainability is very important to you, how do you achieve this through your brand and as customers how can we become better, more responsible consumers?
We have set out to change the way the fashion industry works and how people shop for clothing. When people think about what there money is supporting before they shop we have an opportunity to change the world. We are sustainable for many reasons, by shopping organic, customers are contributing to a more sustainable way fabric is harvested. It is not only producing less harmful run off into our water streams, but also protecting farm workers against harmful chemicals that they can breathe in and end up absorbing into your skin. Traditional clothing can contain many harmful chemicals, the most recognizable being formaldehyde. When clothing is put on your skin the chemicals and dyes that are in the clothing is absorbed, baby’s skin especially is extra absorbent.
Another part of our brand that is very important to me is that our product is made in the USA, not only does this allow us to lessen our carbon footprint, but it also ensures that the people making the clothing are treated fairly and are humane working conditions. When you buy a tee shirt at a store for $5, you have to think about how much the person who made it is actually getting, it’s not going to be much.
5. How’s does inspiration come about for each collection? What usually sparks the main theme of the collection?
Since I use only organic fabrics and am often limited on the fabrics I can use, that is usually the start of the design process for me. I also take into great consideration how kids will be able to play in the clothing as well as ways to make it easy to get changed, such as including snaps on the neckline. After that I start designing silhouettes that will work with the fabrics I have and try to make a collection this is easy to mix and match and will look nice hanging together at a store.
6. Where do you go for inspiration/ideas? Park, café, museum?
It depends on where I am while I am designing. I try to make a habit of taking pictures anytime I am somewhere that is really cool or beautiful. I find inspiration at museums, gardens and often by look at vintage styles in old magazine or old family pictures.
7. Do you listen to music when you design? If so, what are you listening to now?
Yes! I always love having music on when I work and depending on my mood it could be a number of different things. I usually have my Pandora tuned to one of these stations: Motown, Mumford and Sons, Lisa Mitchell, or Carole King and James Taylor.
8. If you could collaborate with anyone in the world who would this be, why?
This is a tough question for me as there are so many amazing designers and artists out there. I can’t think of just one!
9. What’s the best advice someone has giving you?
Follow my gut. Owning a business is hard and you are constantly dealing with uncertainty and solving new problems that arise. The cool thing about it is that you get to make your own rules, but this is also a big challenge. If you can follow your gut you will always feel comfortable with your decision.
10. What advice can you give to us?
If you are planning on starting a business I think the most important thing to know is that you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. You will never know again what will happen next and the more you try to hang on to being in control of everything the more you will struggle. Let go and trust in yourself, work hard and you will be successful.