I founded Pepa & Co in 2013 in response to what I saw as a gap in the market for well made, traditional styled clothing for children, the pieces I grew up wearing and are still the norm in Spain. In creating Pepa & Co, what I have also sought to address is our obsession with fast fashion, which is a particular issue with children's clothing.
When it comes to sustainable fashion, the contribution of children’s clothing to the textile waste problem is often overlooked. While the sector represents only 12 percent of overall market share, it constitutes a considerable portion of the 26 billion pounds of textiles entering landfills each year.
My designs have been inspired by the clothing my mother lovingly kept in storage that had been worn over the years by me and my siblings. When I look at these pieces it’s not only the silhouettes that inspire me, but the fabric quality and composition. With every item I design I am hopeful that it will be worn by generations of children to come.
At Pepa & Co, we encourage you to buy best, better and fewer. To keep what you do buy, care for it and save it for the next new arrival in your family. Our clothes are built to last, they survive in the washing machine, they don’t pill or bobble. Buy one of our cashmere baby blankets and that will see you through all your children before becoming a beautiful keepsake for your child’s memory box.
What does sustainability mean to you?
It means, slow fashion, quality clothing to pass down to future generations. Buying less and wearing it more. Investing in the best we can afford so that we don’t have to replace it after each child. It means working with like-minded producers, investing in our work force. It means asking questions as consumers about why certain clothes are so cheap and what variables must be behind this in their production chain; be that in fair wage payment for employees or the type of materials they use in production.
What are your favourite forever pieces from the collection?
It’s so hard for me to pick as I love everything we design but obviously our classic handsmocked pieces are really special - the best quality materials, exquisite design and with hand-made embroidery. They are a family Heirloom.
Tell us about why you decided to stock wooden toys?
I think there is this idea that babies and children need loud, bright plastic toys to keep them entertained. I don’t necessarily agree, most children are happy to play with ‘toys’ that aren’t even toys. Matthew loves playing with tuppaware boxes or taking socks out of one box and into another. His favourite thing to do is to chase the hoover around the house! Wooden toys will last longer and you’re more likely to pass them down, plus it inspires development in creative and imaginary play.
How has becoming a mother changed your outlook on how we care for this planet?
Instantly you are aware of how much waste there is with a new baby. Wipes, nappies, the plastic bags for nappies, the amount of clothes to be washed every day. Yes, you can get eco options (they aren’t so good at containing certain situations) or reusable nappies but that can be, for some people an extra workload when being with a new baby is demanding enough. As a family we try to offset the extra waste that is created by making simple changes to our lifestyle as a whole. We use eco washing powder and cleaning products, we only buy what we truly need, we have a veg box delivered weekly to reduce food waste.