The ethical shopper is no longer a rare breed. Thanks in part to the radically different way we share information these days – social media tells it like it is, even when some don’t want you to listen – we’ve got a much better idea of what goes on behind the factory doors of some of the biggest brands on earth. Where our wallets can stand it, we seem more ready to move away from the mass-produced; more inclined to think about what we buy, where we buy it from and why.
It used to be difficult to find anything for baby that wasn’t either pink or blue. These days, funky baby clothes, changing mats, toys and other accessories give parents a range of choice: from choices of different patterns and styles to choices of materials.
Baby clothes get grown out of quickly, of course, particularly in the first few months. That’s not necessarily a reason to stick to the “classic” (read “traditional”) pink and blue, though. As long as the clothes go on somewhere else afterwards, it doesn’t really matter what they look like.
Baby certainly doesn’t care – unless on some deep psychological level the use of specific colours and patterns in the surroundings of a very young child translate to thoughts and feelings later in life of course. Even if this were to be the case (there are discussions to be had about the role that specific colours or associations with colour and form may have on gender perception), there’s no specifically right answer about what a baby “should” and “shouldn’t” wear beyond something capable of keeping it comfortable.
There’s something to be said, though, for the idea that patterned baby clothes might have less of a direct effect on subconscious gender perceptions. Plus, of course, if you don’t buy baby clothes coloured with a traditionally gender-specific colour, then you can pass them on as hand me downs to babies of either sex – whether they are born into your family or into the families of your friends.
The idea of re-use is quite important for all baby clothes – it’s good to know something you pay for isn’t only to be used for a month!
Michael Mason sells Funky baby clothes, baby gifts and baby products online. Through his online forum he has discovered that new parents seem to overlook the same products again and again.