This post originally appeared at Rebel Angel.
[This subscription was gifted to me for review]
When I found out I was pregnant, the first thing I wanted to do was buy all the cute baby clothes. Okay, I suppose at first, I was too busy thinking about the teeny tiny sesame seed inside me to worry about what that baby would be wearing, but the clothes situation followed very quickly. The first items of clothing we bought for Emmy were a couple of sleepsuits aged 0-3 months in Mothercare when I was around 8 weeks pregnant because they had a closing down sale, then when we found out she was a girl, I bought the cute fox outfit from Next that Emmy’s actually now worn several times!
But then I began to worry. I’ve heard all the stories of newborns outgrowing clothes within a week, or never fitting into them at all. I worried about having hoards of clothes that she would only wear once or that would never fit her, all of them going to waste eventually. It was around this time that I published my post on my plans to parent a baby sustainably. I started to think more about buying clothes for my baby from ethical, sustainable and organic brands – not only because they’re better for the environment, but also because they’d be better for my baby.
Then I came across Belles and Babes, an organic baby clothes subscription company, and luckily they were happy to partner with me to review their newborn subscription box.
Organic Baby Clothing Subscription
Belles and Babes is a small start up company run by a lovely lady called Emma – who has also just had her own baby too! – in Bristol. Essentially the organic baby clothes subscription service works on a monthly basis, where you’re sent a bag full of clothing to suit your baby’s current size, gender and the current season. These items are all from brands that sell high quality, organic and sustainable clothing for babies.
In addition to offering organic baby clothes in a subscription service, Belles and Babes also offers maternity wear to hire for special occasions – I didn’t get the chance to try this service but I love the idea as you often have at least one special occasion while pregnant, but not many, so you don’t want to buy something you’ll only wear once! Remember when I had a christening to go to and was planning where else I could wear that dress to make sure I got wear out of it?
For £40 for a month-by-month service (ie. if you wanted a one off bundle of clothing or just wanted to pay each month), you receive a bag with 18 essential every day items of organic baby clothing. This price is reduced if you sign up for longer, with the lowest option being £36 per month for 12 months. You receive the bundle of clothing from the date you decide – this is 2 weeks before your due date for a newborn – and send it back whenever your baby outgrows the clothing. Your payments will then leave your account each month, or for month-by-month payments, this leaves your account when you order the bundle. The website says that in each bag you’ll receive £300-400 worth of clothing.
Belles and Babes wash all the clothes with non-biological detergent or get them professionally dry cleaned so that they arrive in perfect condition for you, and they even repair any small bits of damage so that clothes that might otherwise have been thrown to the wayside can be upcycled or reused. The fee you pay covers general wear and tear, but larger damages will be charged at £10. Once they’re no longer able to worn, Belles and Babes recycle the clothing responsibly.
So to sum up, the advantages of signing up to an organic baby clothing subscription are:
- You receive a tailored bundle of essential baby clothing.
- The clothing is all organic so is suitable for a baby’s skin.
- The clothes arrive all washed in non-bio detergent or dry cleaned and ready to wear.
- The clothing is all replaced as soon as they outgrow it.
- You’re not left with barely used or never used baby clothes – they go on to someone else to be worn again and loved.
- Any superficial damage is repaired so that you can’t even tell, meaning that clothes that might otherwise have been thrown away can go on to live another day.
- As I found out, you get a chance to try clothing from organic and sustainable brands before making your own purchases from them.
So, the big question, did I like it?
Honestly, I loved it.
The bundle arrived a couple of weeks before I was due, and I unpacked it with huge amounts of excitement. The clothing arrived in a sturdy reusable bag with no additional packaging which was really nice to see. All the clothing inside is listed and instructions on how to send everything back are included in the bag too.
I’d asked for a bundle that wasn’t particularly gender specific, even though we knew we were having a girl, and this bundle was spot on. We received items that included everything from cute blue whale knitted rompers to soft striped pale pink vests.
The items we received in this bundle were from three brands: Pigeon Organics, Kite Clothing and Mori. One thing that I hadn’t realised would be a huge benefit is that I got to try out clothing from these brands without making an expensive purchase. Organic and sustainable brands can be, understandably, much more expensive than baby clothing that you can pick up on the high street. While I love their designs and ethos, buying all my baby clothes from them would make a huge dent in our bank balance. This way, I got to try three different brands and could make a decision where I’d like to invest in baby clothing in future. For me, Mori was my absolute favourite of the pieces we tried (that included the grey sleepsuit, the pale pink sleepsuit and the pink vest) – their pieces were SO soft and cosy for Emmy to wear. I found myself putting her in them time and time again!
Yes, I was worried about what kind of condition the clothes would turn up in. As we all know, babies have a lot of…bodily functions. I wondered whether the clothing might arrive with stains from spit up or nappy explosions.
I needn’t have worried at all! Baby clothing is used so little that it barely gets any wear and Belles and Babes deals with any wear and tear. All the clothes arrived in excellent condition. The only signs of wear that I could spot were that the labels were slightly worn – that literally only shows to me that they’ve been washed!
The variety of clothing we received was excellent too, and very appropriate for the season. We received sleepsuits, a couple of tops, a couple of pairs of leggings, some short sleeve vests, some long sleeved bodysuits, a couple of rompers and a cardigan. The cardigan has been one of her most worn things when out and about, and now I’ve packed it up to send it back, I’m realising that we really need to buy another cardigan in a size to fit her now as we’re missing that!
Having the clothing pre-washed was also huge bonus for me. We washed as many clothes as possible that we’d bought or been gifted during my pre-baby maternity leave, but we ended up having to wash some when I’d just come home from hospital too (we were gifted more!), so it was so handy to have these ones ready to wear.
I also asked Emma for advice on what she uses to wash baby clothes and received a detailed response with lots of handy tips on the best . We’ve now got our washing routine for baby items down to pat, so I’ll save that for another post!
The only downside for me is that I don’t get to keep the clothes at the end of it! There are some pieces that were so lovely and that Emmy wore so often that I’d have liked to keep them as mementos of her tiny baby days – but if I did this, I’d be hanging on to far too many clothes, with nowhere to store them and them not being all that worn. It’s much better to have them worn and loved by someone else!
I’m now looking over Emmy’s current wardrobe – much of which we’ve been gifted – to see where there are gaps in terms of sizing as I really want to subscribe in future too! We’ve got a lot of 0-3 month clothing so I’d imagine we might have to wait a bit, but I’m definitely planning to use the service again, and to gift it to pregnant friends in future too!