Anything in a child’s life can make a long-lasting impression. Most adults can recall their favourite first-day-of-school outfit, laid out on the bed days before the fateful event; many still have a baby blanket, a tiny pair of shoes, or a special party dress. These items are more than cute garments and accessories, they’re memories.
Below, some stand-out offerings for children—all made in Canada.
Teething isn’t fun for the babe or the parents, but Loulou Lollipop’s toys and necklaces can make the period a bit more tolerable. The silicone-based teething tools are both stylish and fun: chunky bobble necklaces for mom to wear, and cute Oreo-shaped tethers to toss into the baby bag. Run by Vancouver-based twin sisters Eleanor Lee and Angel Kho, the company sells its goods across Canada and the U.S.
From Montreal comes Énamour, a well-designed and thought-out line of children’s skin care. With minimalist, modern packaging, all-natural ingredients, and lush but subtle fragrances, Énamour is like Aesop for baby. Products are designed for little ones, yes, but items such as the lavender-scented Baby Sleep Oil are too tempting not to put on mom and dad, as well. Lip balms and diaper rash creams are made with powerful calming ingredients like cacao butter and tea tree oil. The products are available at select retailers across Eastern Canada, as well as online.
When it comes to a toddler’s shoes, the easier to get on the better. Minimoc’s soft and plush baby moccasins slide right onto a baby’s foot—stylish and ready to go. Founded by a husband and wife team Jeff and Amanda Penner, the Abbotsford business produces a tight range of moccasins (some with classic fringe, some modern and clean) in a variety of colours and patterns—one for every baby’s taste.
Looking for a pocket tank to match dad’s, or a chambray romper to match mom’s jumpsuit? Vonbon, all organic and all crafted in Canada, is the go-to hip baby label. A palette of neutral grey, white, and black is a refreshing turn from the candy-coloured realm of children’s apparel. The line, founded by Vancouverite Jennifer Wilson in 2013, is a more subdued take on babywear. All the fabrics used by Vonbon are designed in-house using environment- and baby-friendly dyes and inks. How trendy.
A baby blanket is perhaps the most beloved children’s item—from swaddles, to crib blankets, to quilts for cozying up in for years to come. Victoria’s Wild Littles creates blankets meant to live long: through car rides, picnics, and play dates. Patterns are sweet and whimsical storybook illustrations like cute brown bears and llamas, as well as floral prints and indigo tie-dye. Most importantly, these blankets are made to last through many a washing machine cycle.
With over 10 years of clothing-making experience in Vancouver, Redfish Kids is something of Vancouver’s organic apparel veteran. The label holds a storefront downtown on Hornby Street, and creates kooky and cute kidswear with play and pattern at the centre of the designs. Lorraine Kitsos and co-owner Kristy Brinkley create on-trend fashions like t-shirts sporting “#courage” in easy-to-wear styles for the toddler to preteen. The store also has stock from popular retailers such as People Footwear and Little Lux accessories. It’s the one-stop-shop for future Vancouver hipsters.
New to the children’s clothing scene is Petits Vilains, a sustainable and ethically-produced line that is not afraid of playfulness and mischief. Created by Vancouver moms Rachel Shamash and Jennifer Christie (who used to design for Aritzia), the brand boasts fashionable, adorable, and comfortable shirts, pants, frocks, and more in an array of calming and cheerful colours. Just try to resist buying your little one those overalls.
Locally-made goods for the little ones? Good for kid and good for country.