Miou Kids – Fair Trade KnitWear

We have learned fast fashion comes at a price. It’s not displayed on the price tag, rather it’s the dark side of clothing consumers don’t see;  poor manufacturing practices resulting in chemical residue left on clothes. So it’s a pleasure to introduce you to Miou Kids’s line of clothing that has turned knitwear into beautiful, handmade fair trade collections made from baby alpaca wool and organic cotton. The Spring/Summer collection of organic cotton is their current hot seller and perfect for that special Easter outfit. article miou We have teamed up with Miou Kids for a contest and couldn’t decide between the adorable options owner Christine gave us for a contest prize (see above). Which one is your favourite? The lucky winner gets to pick. Here is more on Miou and what makes their collections different and earth friendly.

None can deny that making something from hand rather than machine is special. Both lines of alpaca and organic cotton Miou Collections are made by a certified fair trade company and knitters in Peru receive a fair wage and are able to knit from home while caring for their children. Organic cotton is used and any dyes are eco-friendly. So I guess Miou Kids would be the opposite of fast fashion. Designed by West Coast owner Christine, these collections are produced with nothing but safety, quality, and beautiful manufacturing practises. If I could get people thinking about the true cost of clothing, the question everyone needs to be asking is “why does Big Box clothing costs so little?” There is always a hidden cost to cheap clothing and it’s up to consumers to question what this cost is . . manufacturing practices, chemicals, environmental footprint, etc?

The photographer from Lark Rise Horse House that captured my twins Ecoparty, hosts Beatrix Potter and Easter portraits filled with tea parties, bunnies, chicks, and classic portraits. Any of the Miou line would be a stunning compliment for Easter or Beatrix photos.  Miou and Beatrix Potter are the perfect match – the knit bonnets are so beautiful they would make a special accessory for Easter this month. Before you enter our contest, here are a couple of interesting tips on ‘slow fashion’ from Miou that I through were very interesting. Did you know?

 1) Huge quantities of fossil fuel are needed to create machine knitted garment.
 2) Cotton is the most pesticide intensive crop in the world.
 3) Natural fibres not only have a smaller carbon footprint then synthetic but also have the advantage of being biodegradable.
 4) Alpaca is one of the most eco-friendly wool available.
Our thanks to Miou Kids for working with us to showcase clothing that’s produced with love and environmental commitment.  Good luck to all of you with the contest – I definitely want to see pictures from the winner! This contest is open to all residents in North America and will close midnight April 12th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** Contest entry note ** I’m excited that my friends from Groovy Green Livin, Bit Of Mom Sense, and I Don’t Blog are on board to help spread the word about Miou and this contest. They are the extra entries on the Rafflecopter post so please give them some love and follow their blogs.

Related Posts:

5 Tips To Reduce Chemicals In Clothing

5 Tips For Hosting An Eco Party

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Jane Goodall’s Message of Hope

A very special opportunity was given to myself and son Angelo when Nature’s Path asked if we wanted to attend Jane Goodall’s lecture in Vancouver. My answer, in a heart beat was yes (!), and I’m most appreciative to Nature’s Path. This brand follows a beautiful manufacturing process, clean ingredient list and they are 3rd party GMO-free verified. Thank you for giving us an experience we’ll always remember. Here are the highlights from Jane Goodall’s lecture last week and fun contest details.

Jane entered the stage at Vancouver’s Orpheum theatre and my first thought was how much I love her ponytail. I have a new view of my own ponytail, with greying hair at the temples, as one to be worn with pride. My 10 year old son reported that she was a ‘comedian’ and he loved her chimpanzee stories and humour throughout the lecture. Don’t feel sad that you missed the opportunity because her Ted Talk contains many of these wonderful stories and information about how kids can be involved within her Roots and Shoots organization.

I felt it important to write about the experience because I left feeling hopeful. Jane Goodall has seen deforestation and destruction at the maximum degree and yet her lecture is one filled with hope. She talks about how we make decisions using only our brains and the environmental disconnect might be happening because we aren’t thinking with our brain and heart combined. We are such a clever species but we are destroying the only planet we have. Interesting that it’s empathy we teach children in school to combat bullying, and this emotion of connecting the brain and heart will also help our environment. Making small steps to connect children with nature, disconnecting them from electronic overload, and guiding their love for our earth is important. Jane’s quote “The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” ― she really lends to the fact that if kids don’t care about the world around them, they will do nothing to nurture or care for it.

Many large, global issues cause my brain to really shut down because of the enormity. Examples of this are terms like global warming, ocean, air, soil pollution and habitat loss. I’m not alone in feeling like these huge environmental problems are just too far out of reach for one person to help fix. It was amazing to hear Jane say she believes the small changes we control in our everyday lives do make a difference and are very important. Asking questions about things you don’t believe are right like factory farming and being proactive with engaging children with nature, unplugging, growing a garden, kindness, etc. These are all acts that can make a difference; what level is up to you, but participate with small ones because it helps. Jane’s message is one of hope. And it was so refreshing to hear in her 80 years of life, she looks to our children to continue her voyage to get the earth back and repair the damage we’ve inflicted.

Heading into Earth month, I feel her hope and will do all I can with spreading the message. As we stood up to leave the lecture, Jane suddenly came back to the microphone and told us to Google ‘Wounda’. Thank you to Nature’s Path for helping me remember the video she wanted us to watch which is about a chimpanzee named Wounda (meaning close to death) that is nursed back to health and released into a chimpanzee sanctuary. Grab your children and enjoy the magic at minute 3 between Jane and Wounda – it is amazing. I’ve embedded it for you to watch here:

In addition to giving me a voice to spread the word about Jane Goodall’s journey of hope, Nature’s Path offered MommyFootprint,  EcoBravo and Spokesmama a cereal prize package so we are teaming up for a really fun contest! My household loves and eats Nature’s Path granola and cereal  ~ does yours? We want to see your Nature’s Path breakfast.  To gain a contest entry, simply take a picture of your Nature’s Path breakfast and/or share the below graphic on Instagram and/or Twitter and include hashtag #Envirokidzbox. With each hashtag, you’ll be entered to win (feel free to enter daily). Here are my accounts to follow if you need contest reminders: Instagram and Twitter.

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Thanks again to Nature’s Path for including Angelo and myself in this beautiful opportunity to hear Jane speak. I can’t help but believe this is another feather in Angelo’s wings to soar and fly with inspiration to help our environment. We will use the experience to give back.

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5 Tips For Hosting An Eco Party

My baby girls turned 8 years old and to celebrate we headed to their happy place Aldor Acres Farm in Langley. Not only were we blessed to host this party at this amazing farm, Raeleigh from Lark Rise Horse House Photography joined us to capture pictures and memories. I highly recommend bringing a photographer to special parties, especially if they are hosted outside.  The natural lighting, nature backdrop and that ‘eye’ that talented photographers have makes all the difference from snapping your own pictures. And it allows you to truly enjoy the day and be in the moment, rather than concentrating on working a phone/camera. Follow both of these businesses here and here because what they share on Facebook, will bring you many smiles.

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There is no reason for parties to generate more waste than practices in your everyday life. If you have an environmental commitment, it’s easy to incorporate these values into hosting a really fun Eco party!

5 Tips For Hosting An Eco Party

1) Limit Waste. You are hosting a party, not contributing to mass consumerism so why is a party any different than the rest of your life? Try to limit garbage. Especially if hosting at a park or farm, you don’t want to leave the event with a trunk load of garbage. We requested party guests bring reusable water bottles and used compostable tableware; palm plates, recycled napkins and wooden cutlery. We also requested no gifts which really helped limit non-recyclable gift wrap and plastic toy packaging.  The twins have special reusable party banners so this also limits disposable waste from cheap decorations.

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2) Re-think Goodie Bags. It’s easy to hit a dollar store and fill up a little bag of trinkets, but there are so many ways to send guests home with a give-away that is fun and eco-friendly. At this party we brought hanging baskets and the kids potted strawberry plants. They also received a little treat in a handmade bunny bag, but hopefully this summer when they see the first signs of strawberries, they’ll remember our party and their introduction to planting.

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3) Eco Party Games. Classic party games are always a huge hit. We started with an egg toss and since we were at the farm, we had lots of space. I can’t believe it was my kids first time doing an egg toss and to increase the fun we didn’t boil them first. One of my sons ended up with egg on his face and hair..it was awesome! This was the most popular game and we had to buy more eggs from Aldor Acres because they wanted to keep playing. We continued with sack races (old coffee burlap bags) and three-legged race using ties my husband doesn’t use anymore. The burlap sacks and ties gave the games a cool vintage vibe. The classic party games are always amazing..kids yearn for simple things. Fun party memory was all the kids watching the dads have a sack race.

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4) Host a Donation Party. As parents we feel guilty about many things. Since my twins have older siblings that only have donation parties, I started the girls early in life with no gift parties. Then last year I felt guilty that they didn’t have the experience of opening gifts and switched it to a gift party. I was quickly reminded of that huge layer of waste when party guests bring gifts. From the gift wrap to plastic packaging  - it’s a lot. We switched back to a donation party this year and it was amazing. We will be donating the money collected to tinykittens - a foster home for rescue cats and kittens. My twins love holding and watching kittens, so they are very excited to visit and deliver their donations to this amazing place and sponsor a healthy kitten from birth to adoption.

5) Give an Experience. I love hosting parties where guests get to experience something new or get a close look at things my family loves. From our love of Harry Potter, indoor rockwall climbing, forest fairy walks and scavenger hunts, to now sharing the magic of Aldor Acres. I love to watch the excitement from my usually introverted twins build and become contagious with their friends about party themes. When you love where and what you doing, so will the people around you. How often do you get to participate in a goat parade and help herd them? This along with holding lots of baby bunnies, goats, lambs,  hay ride, and having space to run and play with your friends. . . kids love it. And don’t be fooled, even the teenagers that come to the farm with us love it. There is no age limit bonding with animals and spending time outside.

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I think you would be surprised how happy a farmer would be to share their little bit of heaven with a birthday party. With the Spring and Summer months now here, think about booking your next party outside. Thank you to Lark Rise Horse House for capturing so many moments in time that I’ll want to remember forever. Also, Farmer Melissa and Katie for being incredible role models for my daughters. My kids know that behind the smiling faces that greet them at Aldor Acres Farm are very hard working farmers and it’s important to support such a valuable resource. Thank you for being amazing stewards for farmers in BC’s Fraser Valley.

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How To Play Muggle Quidditch

Hosting A Harry Potter Party

Scavenger Hunt In The Woods

Eco Kids Party – Fairies & Forest Walks

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes

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Toilet Paper Roll Seed Starter DIY

I know empty toilet paper rolls are awesome for crafting and over the weekend we tried a DIY project of making TP seed starters. My family had great success with urban farming last year so we are eager to start germinating seeds indoors.  Thanks to many saved TP rolls, we started our planting today.

If you are new to gardening or growing food, snap peas are your best friend! I think they are pretty hard to mess up, hearty, and kids love to pick them. They also grow skyward, so can be grown in small spaces that gets sun. It’s still chilly in March, so here’s how you start them indoors.

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Collect empty toilet paper rolls. Here’s how you make a seedling starter DIY.

1) Cut a toilet paper roll in half.
2) Make small snips around the edges of the roll approx. 1/2 inch long.
3) Fold the edges so the bottom is closed. *TIP* Pour a little water onto the bottom flaps and they will mold together much easier.
4) If your roll won’t stand flat, put a small round bottle inside, to push down the flaps to dry flat.

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After you rolls have dried a bit, grab your potting soil (can be purchased at any nursery) and spoon the dirt into the roll. We filled it almost to the top.

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Read your pea instructions, but Angelo my 10 year old, dipped his pinkie finger up to his knuckle into the dirt to make a hole. We dropped 1 pea into the hole and covered it with dirt.

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Find a low tray to hold all your seed starters and put them in front of a window that gets lots of light. Mist the dirt daily and make sure they stay moist. That’s it. Super easy and I promise your kids will love it. Up next will be lettuce on our germinating tray and heated mat. Follow Mommy Footprint on Instagram or Facebook to check out the fun we’ll have next with lettuce!

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Planting Peas

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5 Tips To Reduce Chemicals In Clothing

Since learning about fast fashion, I’m determined to limit chemicals that exist in new clothing for my kids. The concept of stylish clothing or seasonal trends in children’s clothing exists in all larger brands resulting in cheaply and quickly produced fashion. Similar to fast food, fast fashion is produced without attention to detail or concern for ingredients or materials. It’s no wonder this Greenpeace report has raised awareness when twenty-seven products were sent to independent accredited laboratories and investigated for the presence of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), phthalates, per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). It’s freaky. We’ve been avoiding toys for our children that contain lead and other carcinogens, but we still think we’ve scored a bargin when buying that $2 t-shirt!

Here are 5 ways you can start minimizing the problem of toxic clothing in your home and it begins with shopping with a new set of rules.

1. Shift your mindset. Just like the clean, organic food we consume, there is a higher cost with buying new, quality made clothing. It’s not something to complain about because like food, you appreciate the quality and craftsmanship involved with a purchase. Once you adjust your mindset, it’s amazing how quickly you don’t mind the higher price tags. You gain a sense of peace and pride when bringing carefully selected clothing into your household to enjoy.

2. Buy less. We’ve taken off the blinders with so many aspects of healthier living. We understand that 1 box of organic cereal costs the same as 3 boxes of GMO, sugar filled cereals. We’ve accepted this with our food so why do we buy 5 t-shirts when they go on sale for $2 at a big box store? It’s scary to think that you can buy new cheaply made clothing for less than 2nd hand! We know that there is a cost to this low price. The people that have made the garments have been paid very little and the materials used to make a $2 t-shirt are cheap. So cheap that just maybe, that t-shirt contains harmful ink, pesticide treated fabric, and hormone disruptors or lead plastic decals and design. That cheap t-shirt suddenly isn’t so appealing and shouldn’t be seen as something exciting.

3. Shop local. It’s the question I get asked the most. Where can you find locally made clothes?  Well I’m happy to say it exists. More and more small and indie businesses are manufacturing locally made clothing and they are getting easier to find. If you are having trouble finding something, post a question on our Fan Page and we’ll find a designer for you. Rain gear, bathing suits and shoes are still pretty tough to find, but you can find certified Öko-Tex brands for rain protection.

4. Buy 2nd hand. I get it – I have four kids that go through stages of loving a t-shirt with Spiderman or a beloved character on the front. This doesn’t mean that you need to purchase new clothing.  Chemicals in clothing are lessoned with wear and washing, not to mention used clothing feels better for the same reasons. It would be impossible to afford all locally made or organic clothing so get in the habit of frequenting thrift stores, buy/sell sites, and clothing swap meets. Shopping used also removes the temptation to buy latest trends in fashion which has a shelf life. Rather, 2nd hand shopping promotes classic purchases that have longevity.

5. Read clothing labels. Checking a clothing label will tell you two things quickly – if the company is proud of where it’s manufactured (Made In Canada or USA is something clothing lines like to promote) and what the article of clothing is made from. Just like the habit of reading food labels, clothing labels deserve the same few minutes. Learn what it means to wear synthetic fabrics. The most cheaply made clothing I’ve seen contains polyester and this means flame retardants exists next to your child’s skin. This can easily be avoided by sticking with 2nd hand cotton clothing or new organic clothing lines.

I don’t think either of my daughters have ever worn a new pair of jeans – 2nd hand feels better. Pictured below is my 7 year old clothing label reading ninja. The first thing she wants to know when buying clothing is does it contain polyester. She has skin sensitivities so we’ve done our best to keep her in more natural fabrics since she was a baby. She also has sensory needs with clothing and prefers how 2nd hand clothing or locally made brands feel on her skin.

I hope the awareness expands for sustainable fashion in North America. The divide in price between big box and locally manufactured clothing is huge and the reason is demand. We have not yet wrapped our minds around the environmental toll fast fashion or big box fashion brands place on our planet. Maybe as parents, if we imagine that toll with our health, the shift will come. By reducing and shopping with a new set of rules for fashion, the planet and human health will benefit, while a new sector of locally made fashion will finally be able to flourish.

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