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Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the design-led tradeshow for independent childrenswear Dot to Dot London. Held not far from the legendary Carnaby Street, its  location gave the event a bohemian, yet trendy feel.

The Vinyl Factory is an open contemporary space and was decorated with the cool pre-schooler bikes of Tokyobike London and beautiful photos of photographer Ali Dover (see picture below). This biannual event was a great opportunity for both buyers and press to get to know smaller brands which offer an original approach to children's clothing, as well as great values. Here's a little impression of the day...


photo by Ali Dover

Photo Collage by Ali Dover / Picture by Daniela Bovolenta

Organizer Louise (right)



Aravore

Aravore is a really sweet and beautiful, mainly knitwear brand. Each piece is crafted in their own atelier in Paraguay, which they set up themselves, employing all artisans involved directly and ensuring complete traceability. The  sustainable yarns and fabrics used are directly sourced from the producers, therefore minimising their environmental impact. Aravore's AW 2016/2017 collection on display was utterly soft and of a sublime quality, combined with an earth tone color palette. Another little extra with this brand is that with each piece you buy a swing-tag, which is attached and signed by the artisan who made it, establishing a human connection between artisans and buyers.









Bumble Blooms UK

Emma is the designer behind this collection, consisting of hand-knitted snoods and handmade unisex baby bloomers. All items are made by Emma herself from materials sourced in the UK. Every item comes in a reusable, handmade cotton postcard pouch and by adding the little ones name onto it, each item gets a personal touch - perfect for a gift. Emma is currently the proud owner of an Etsy shop and is looking into expanding her brand in the near future.











Darlo ethical baby wear

Darlo is a brand which believes that a little giving changes lives.
After travelling around South Asia, Chloe, Darlo's founder, was especially affected by the lack of support for children in developing countries. In October 2014 whilst working together with the charity Project Crayons, their first ethical collection was launched, existing of baby comfies such as onesies and blankets. Their products are made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton, and each Darlo product sold, provides a 2% donation, which equals a week's worth of support for a child in India.







Gugguu

This Finnish brand Gugguu combines modesty, style and fresh colours in their designs for AW 2016/17. The two factories that produce their line are both in the Baltics, thanks to this close proximity it is easy for the brand's team to go back and forth and work closely together. Gugguu's collection is certified Oeko-tex Standard 100 and GOTS StandardThis collection transmits fun, and I couldn't help noticing their charming little dresses on display at the show.





Mainio

Another Finnish brand, Mainio is best described as adventurous, wacky and all good natured. They have a traceable factory in India with a SA8000 certification and use GOTS-certified fabrics only. Even their sewing threads are traceable and certified, which means no hazardous residual substances. Another plus point of this brand is that 2% of their sales are donated to improve the welfare of the community of their factory workersWhilst speaking to Johanna, the Managing Director of Mainio, it became very clear they are all highly passionate about their brand and proud to have been able to produce such a lively collection.





Mamma Couture



I know, I know, we've already posted about this brand twice before, however, I really wanted to share with you that if you already own a rag doll made by Mamma Couture you can now buy actual outfits for your favourite doll. This means your little one can have even more hours of fun, by changing her dolly's outfits over and over again! Each piece is handmade by Eva Berkes in the UK.





My Baby's Name Is

These brightly coloured sleeping bags are any new parents must have!
Available in Tog1 or Tog 2.5, for colder days, with a size range from 0 up to 36 months.
Founder and Director Szymon Klos explained to me the process of how these sleeping 'beauties' are made. 
Made from 100% organic cotton and manufactured in Spain and Central Poland, each piece offers great quality.







Papu Stories


Founder and designer Anna teamed up with artist/illustrator Hanna-Riikka and together they created Papu Stories. Their debut collection 'Papu and the shower of buttons' in 2012 proved a success and the story behind this collection is also available in a published picture book. Each collection is based on a story with a quirky sense of humour. The majority of their collection is produced in Portugal by Cottonhouse (owned by a Finnish-textile company). GOTS-certified, imported from Turkey. The entire collection is made in an ethical and sustainable way.








Petite Albion


Petite Albion was established by the two talented textile designers Bronwen and Fanny in 2013. They both share a passion for knitting and not only bring their talent out in their incredibly beautiful collection, but also wanted to give something back to society. In order to do so, both ladies teach knitting workshops though charities in and around London. 'We aim to create a stronger community by encouraging people not only to knit, but to talk and exchange ideas, experiences and skills' they say. The entire collection is handmade in the UK, using sustainably sourced natural yarns only. This brand really stands out and is a true gem on the knitwear market.











Also...





Other brands  present on the day, and to look out for, were Amy & Ivor, previously featured on our blog. The collection of eco leather baby & toddler moccasins has now grown with different models and plenty of lush new colours.





Pigeon Organics is another brand to check out, with most of their collection being fair-trade certified and part of the Soil Association, working with 100% organic cotton. This collection has a ' Classic-English' feel, thanks to its incorporation of prints
, classic tunic dresses and cord trousers.






Girlstalktoboys is the 'new kid on the block', debuting their first collection. Every piece is designed with the option to layer, offering many different outfit combinations, with comfort in mind, in order for your kids to jump around happily. Designed by Kelly Ekardt and manufactured in London.



All images taken at the show & words by Daniela Bovolenta.
Lookbook images courtesy of brands mentioned.


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