• Kids

Why this designer’s vision for kids clothes is everything

Huddle is a label built on simplicity and a desire to create beautiful, natural kids clothes

Like many mums, having kids was a catalyst for change for Ali Howell, sparking a desire to care for the world we live in. She explains: “It sounds so clichéd but when you start thinking about your children’s future (and their children), the legacy we are leaving for them becomes very real. I am sure some people are less self-absorbed and come to this realisation without having children, but for me that was the real motivator.

Tell us about huddle

It’s made from 100 per cent natural merino wool, made in Australia with simple colour and design. In a world of mass produced Wiggles outfits made out of 100 per cent flammable polyester, I think Huddle produces something that is refreshing for parents.

What does an average day entail for you?

Our kids are at preschool two days a week and on those days it’s all Huddle – a mad rush to cram a seven day a week job into two!

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What are your mornings like?

I try and start my day with mindfulness but I would not call it peaceful! My 2-year-old typically wakes up anywhere from 5am to 6:30am and is 100 per cent from the moment he bounds out of bed. My husband and I take it in turns to get up with him (our 4-year-old often doesn’t wake up until 7am) and I actually love those early mornings with him (once I have dragged myself out of bed).

Other than Huddle (of course) what are the brands you love for your kids?

I love Yoli & Otis for the fact that they are ethically made, plant dyed and simple. Bobo Choses because they are unique and have interesting colours, styles and patterns. I also love Miya & Ma, a little store on Esty for gorgeous little dresses.

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What is your approach to toxins and chemicals in your house?

I try to use natural where I can. We use a pretty natural laundry detergent – Boisto’s or Ecostore, or sometimes I just buy a bottle of eucalyptus oil and mix it up with water in a spray bottle. I have to admit that I still use some bleach-based products in the bathroom. I try to limit it but my need to remove the mould typically wins out!

What about the food you buy, what is your strategy?

My biggest issue is waste and reducing that is my main aim when it comes to shopping. We typically don’t do a big shop, we might buy some weekly staples but then whoever is home with the kids will shop daily for lunches and dinners.  I love shopping at About Life but typically we use our local IGA and Harris farm for convenience.

What about plastic?

We have a mix of glass and plastic Tupperware. I tried to replace all our plastic Tupperware with glass but the plastic seems to have crept back in recently. The kids typically have metal drink bottles and we use canvas lunchboxes.

What are your favourite baby products?

* Make  U Well natural rubber soother – my kids weren’t big dummy suckers but I loved these for the times they did use one

* Holle Formula – when I needed to supplement breastfeeding with bottles, I found this beautiful organic formula called Holle.

* Moo Goo – they make a lovely facial moisturiser for sensitive skin, that is made for adults and children. I found this great in winter for me and the kids, when they get little windchapped cheeks.

* Mustela – it’s not completely natural or organic but I love their body wash that doubles as a shampoo..

* Woolworths biodegradable nappy bags – nappies are the biggest eco issue I have encountered as a parent. Despite this, I found it very hard to use anything except Huggies when they were newborn but I eased my guilt with the biodegradable Woolworths nappies bags!

* Botanical Extracts zinc sunscreen – not a baby specific product but a completely natural zinc sunscreen that is thin and light and unperfumed.

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