L’asticot: Ethical and cool kidswear

Keeping our kids comfortable in some of the most aesthetically pleasing threads is all but part of L’asticot’s mission. The Swiss kidswear brand is also concerned about our kids’ future and is seeing to it that not only do our kids look cute and dapper but that mother earth is looking and feeling darn good too.

Putting quality that lasts in to their aesthetic of producing eco-friendly kids clothing As L’asticot say: “You don’t have to be Einstein to figure that clothes that last longer put less strain on the environment.”

L’asticot design clothes for babies and children aged two to 10 that is aesthetically and ethically on trend. The collections – for both girls and boys – are an exciting melange of bold prints, retro designs and superbly cut pieces – which can be mixed and matched – that are functional, taking into account the demands of active children.

The L’asticot range has a “host of tricks up its sleeve” to extend garments’ lives. They dress girls as well as boys, develop with the age of the children and are full of quirks for a longer lifetime. For example, a L’asticot bodysuit has 2-position press studs, adapting to a baby’s growth or allowing the use of washable nappies, while a pair of L’asticot dungarees straps with 2-position press studs in order to adapt to a baby’s growth too.

The Swiss kidswear brand’s winning formula effortlessly combines design, comfort and sustainability. As label owner and designer Christine Mutuel describes it “a mix of Scandinavian extravaganza with French classicism designed in Switzerland and produced ethically in Portugal”.

Swiss designed and ethically produced, L’asticot uses only the finest materials and natural fibres such as cotton, linen, wool, flax and hemp that have been sourced from organic farms whilst respecting fair trade standards. Some of the threads that go into a L’asticot garment such as organic cotton has obtained the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) label. What’s more, their main manufacturer in Portugal has been awarded the European Ecolabel, the only European label of its kind.

Dyes and printing materials that are used by the brand meet strict health standards and do not contain chemicals that are a health risk. With its Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification, product class I for baby articles, l’asticot brings consumers the guarantee of a safe product.

The brand owes its ecologically clued-up attitude to the labels founders Christie Mutuel and Danièle McClellan, two mothers inspired to create a line of baby and kids clothes that are respectful of the planet as much as they are stylish. Frustrated by the absence of funky fashions for babies and kids, the pair went to work on setting up the label and l’asticot was born in 2009.

“The lack of colourful, comfortable and fun clothes for our sons is what gave us the drive”, Christie Mutuel says. “Once the idea came to mind, we wanted to give our kids something that will preserve our environment and hence the idea of setting up an ethical brand came to mind. Once this was set in place, we knew we wanted to produce in Europe and as Portugal has a great reputation in the textile industry we looked for serious, yet flexible suppliers there.”

Designing a line of clothes and accessories that are functional and comfortable yet trendy and timeless is imperative to a label that believes that “because a garment that lasts longer is a garment that protects the earth”.

Christie Mutuel explains: “We decided to produce only from organic, GOTS certified raw materials (cotton, wool) in Portugal and we remain true to this positioning. The quality that we are able to offer our clients helps us underline our ethical mission as our clothes last longer and their unisex style allows them to be passed on from brother to sister without a problem, prolonging their longevity.”

Christie Mutuel, a mum and a stylist, was in the best position to be taking on the label’s design work. “I do all the designing of the collection — from coming up with the prints to choosing the colour palette to drawing the styles,” she says. “I wanted to design clothes for my son and also always wanted to create a clothes brand. Designing for kids is much easier than for adults due to the more general body shapes.”

Fortunately Christie Mutuel’s mother kept many clothes from when she and her brother were kids. She says being able to dig them out from the attic has provided a great source of inspiration for her, which has leant itself well to the retro designs and 70s sensibility that many of l’asticot’s pieces encapsulate. “Everyday brings something new and inspiring,” Christie Mutuel says.

L’asticot’s SS17 collection draws on a variety of influences both on land and at sea. There are T-shirts, tank tops, blouses and romper suits in bold prints of fish, vintage bikes, windsurfing, umbrellas and flowers. Harem-style Berber pants for babies in a blue or orange jersey featuring bold prints at the ankle cuffs.

Along with co-owner Inga Aellen, Christie Mutuel has developed a brand of babies and kidswear that is as much about being ethical as it is playful, unorthodox and experimental in its designs.

“A new and softer feminine touch has been added to certain models such as the bodysuit, the dress and the blouse with a Peter Pan collar, at the same time without giving up l’asticot’s brand identity, to provide unisex styles,” Inga Aellen says.

L’asticot is available online

Rosalind Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer who specialises in sustainable life & style, music, entertainments and wellbeing. Rosalind also works as a spiritual life coach and intuitive advisor helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com

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