We sat down with veteran fashion stylist and mother Mindi Smith, creative director and founder of The Little Red Planet, an online children's boutique. On the brink of 50, Mindi shifted gears, changed careers, and is on a mission to transform the way we shop. Here are her thoughts on sustainability and design for the little people in your life.
Originally posted by Mindi Smith on September 1, 2018.
Sustainable fashion for kids is not an oxymoron. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before: buying nice clothing for kids is a waste of money because they outgrow them so fast. Or kids destroy their clothes so why bother buying anything nice for them? Or my personal favorite, my kid only wears ____ (insert tacky chain store clothing item here).
I’m here to tell you it’s SIMPLY NOT TRUE. My personal shopping-for-kids philosophy is that you, your child, and the planet are ALL much better off when you follow the “buy well, buy once” mantra. Let me explain…it all boils down to these three little things: fit, quality, and style.
The fit of a garment is what gives it longevity. Good designs are made to grow WITH your child, taking them through multiple seasons. A great example of this is the dress: say you buy a dress for your little girl with room to grow … sure it’s a bit big the first season. Roll those sleeves up, belt it, and don’t worry about the hemline. Nowadays hemlines fluctuate from mid calf to mid thigh. It’s all about the attitude and individuality with kids, they have an amazing knack of pushing the fashion envelope. Fast forward to the next season….those generously cut sleeves fit perfectly, and the length is a bit shorter—perfect. And finally, because you’ve purchased a quality garment, that dress dances it’s way into the season after as a tunic, worn over jeans or leggings. Cardis and tights take it from hot summers to cold winters on a dime.
While fit is crucial to extending the life of your child’s wardrobe, it doesn’t mean a whole lot if the fabric is of poor quality. Cheaply woven or synthetic fabrics will not have that soft “feel to the touch” that kids (and parents) love plus they don’t breathe very well. Who wants to be hot and sweaty in any season because they are baking inside cheaply made clothes? NO ONE. Texture sensitivity aside, have you noticed that cheaply made garments tend to shrink way way down when you wash them? Quality fabrics such as soft jersey knit and linens will retain their shape and even soften with every wash
Do I really need to say anything about this? If you’re reading this article, the answer is most likely a resounding NO but for those that need a gentle reminder or any unconverted husbands out there wondering why their wife doesn’t just shop High Street, this last point is for you. Design is important! It’s not just the extra spring in their step, the smile on their face or the positive giddiness that is enhanced by a “good outfit” day (ever catch a kid dancing in front of the mirror in their new shoes?) . Superior clothing design is performance-enhancing! From the skate park to the classroom, grandma’s dinner table to the street, well-made stylish clothing keeps kids comfortable and cozy, cool and collected.
When the elements of fit, quality, and style are all present in a child’s garment, that garment is likely to last much longer than apparel of it’s chain store counterpart. A well-loved garment with great design will be happily passed along to siblings, neighbors and friends. It becomes a cherished piece of your family’s story and will definitely not end up in a landfill six weeks after purchase.
Please let me know if I can answer any questions or help in any way at firstname.lastname@example.org !
Originally posted by Mindi Smith on September 1, 2018. Read the original post here.
“Ageless Wonders: A Grown up kids Guide to Growing Newer”
written and starring
Directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson
Music by Roland Mousaa
Lyrics written by Mindy Fradkin & Roland Mousaa
I am in my 6th decade now and started feeling like I entered a new universe. People began talking to me differently. “Are you retired? Are you still working?” People at a previous job were mostly in their twenties, and I was older than their parents. Weird. One day you wake up and its a new reality. Maybe I have more wrinkles, brown spots? I must look different! In my thinking, I don't feel any different. I had a job that was awful, and I came home one day very exhausted, more tired than ever, and I began writing this show about ageism in America, and my experience being a “senior” in our youth driven USA culture.
It's also harder to be an “older” woman in our society in many ways. It may be better or worse in the UK. I am not saying its easy for men either, but there is more bias against us women. Men are “distinguished” while women don't have flattering terms like “old bag” or “old ladies”.Times are changing though. Through writing my show about ageism in America, I started meeting women who had a similar goal to shift perceptions about aging, realizing we are no longer in the youth club.
I had never written a one woman show. I had been performing a one woman improv, interactive show for decades promoting designer hats that I created, and would sell them at the end. After a while, women's clubs, senior homes, charity events would book me to perform. I wore outrageous outfits, and my art to wear hats and wigs. I previously was a wardrobe stylist for print ads, and billboards. I did costumes for a film, and the whole time, one of the actors, said I needed to be in front of the camera, not behind, and I could just get up and talk and everyone would be laughing. After that summer, I took a comedy class in Manhattan. I proceeded to do stand up comedy after the 10 week class, which led to going to hat school at FIT. I didn't like working late at night in clubs, smoke filled and drinking. But, of course, hat making was wonderful, but I needed to still perform, so I created a hat performance which is part of my one woman show, Ageless Wonders.
Years later, on my Dad's deathbed, he gave me a big grin. That smile changed my life for the better. He rarely smiled, as he had a terrible tragedy as a child. I was inspired to start a movement about the healing power of a genuine smile. The Smile Revolution was born. I started a blog, had a radio show, with celebrity guests, like Pete Seeger, Richie Havens, Arlo Guthrie, Buffy St. Marie and more. My wasband( ex-husband), Roland Mousaa, introduced me to them, and worked with them. He and I wrote a series of smile songs that we sing in my show.
After my radio show ended, I was developing a TV to promote The Smile Revolution. Nothing was working out. I went to Los Angeles, and saw my actor friends who said, “Why don't you do a one woman show, and here's a coach?” I immediately contacted Jessica Lynn Johnson, an award winning Best National Solo Artist, and Director of Solo Shows. I could never have written and performed this play without her direction and guidance. I started writing a show about my childhood, but after a few months I paused as it felt really hard. After 9 months ( like giving birth!), I was working at a job that I hated, and one night being very exhausted, I started writing my new show. I contacted Jessica and we immediately started work on it. It's been a tremendous amount of work and financial investment, but its the most rewarding experience of my life. I feel fulfilled and happy, yet stressed at times too! My show has a metaphysical twist to it, which gives others hope, and a new perception on aging.
In my show, I speak directly to the audience sharing personal stories as well as inspiring stories about aging that help shift perceptions, mainly for women, since its harder for us in U.S.A. I do an interactive 'Hat Parade'' with my designer hats, sing original smile songs with my was-band, ex-husband, Roland Mousaa, promoting the healing power of a simple smile. I interviewed in a 2 minute video, Anthony Mancinelli, who at 107 has been cutting hair for 95 years, works full time, and drives. He is a true “Ageless Wonders” and knew he would inspire my audience to realize they are not old!
I have one SOLD OUT show on October 6, and am selling tickets for Wednesday, September 26 at 3:30pm. My special guest is Anthony Mancinelli, at this matinee. Tickets: $47.25 at box office or Telecharge 212-239-6200 or http://unitedsolo.org.us/agelesswonders-2018 ( extra fees apply)
“Mindy is a wonderful, living, work of art.” Nohoartsdistrict.com
“Mindy is zippy, zesty, and full of life!” Bonnie Priever, Curtain Up
“She leaves the smiles and laughter for keeps.” Paul Smart, Woodstock Times
Article by permission from Advantagesofage.com