Gifts for Baby's First Christmas | The Bonnie Mob
With a background in knitwear design and a vision to create quality babywear that lasts, Tracey Samuel founded The Bonnie Mob in 2005.
Ahead of her time, Tracey's commitment to sustainability sees her create collections that are practical and tough-wearing with a focus on high-quality garments that can be passed on.
Tracey's philosophy - ‘Buy once, buy well, pass it on…' is integral to the brand.
With Christmas coming up, we caught up with Tracey to ask her more about her designs and to get some gift inspiration for baby's first Christmas.
Shop The Bonnie Mob collection HERE
With so much already on their plates, it can be challenging for new parents to shop consciously with a new baby, and your impressive career as a knitwear designer has given you an insight into quality and construction that many people don’t have. What advice do you have that will enable parents to buy once, buy well, and pass it on? What do you look for personally?
I am a specialist in knitwear and a self confessed ‘knit geek’, I have to admit I find it really hard to find good quality knits at the moment. The increase in popularity of cheaper sweatshirts means that we are loosing our appreciation of the craft of good knitting.
The first thing I look for is the composition, I prefer natural fibres such as cotton and merino wool and where possible I like to buy organic garments, I try to avoid acrylic and nylon, they will not biodegrade as they are essentially plastic, they are also used as a bit of a cheat to fill up the knit with synthetic fibres which are much cheaper than natural fibres, these knits won’t last long and will most likely bobble and wear badly.
Secondly I check to see if there are fashioning marks on the knit, these are the little marks around the sleeve and armhole of the garment, for me they indicate a higher quality of knitting, the garment has been knitted to shape, this method takes a bit longer to knit but it makes for a better quality garment and reduces a lot of unneeded waste that you find with knit that has been cut and sewn.
Thirdly I check to see if the neck has been ‘linked on’ again this is a higher quality traditional method of adding a neck to a garment, it’s a highly skilled job in a factory, and means adding each stitch individually with a linking machine, this leaves a nice flat finish and the neck sits flat on the body.
You are an advocate for fair wages and sustainable materials throughout your supply chain. Do you have any tips for customers looking to shop more sustainably when buying childrenswear? What kind of messaging should they look out for?
Yes. We advocate a living wage with all of our suppliers, We are now at about 80% of the collection in organic or recycled fabrics throughout all of our collections. I’m especially proud of our new recycled outerwear and eco printing that we have developed with our factory.
If you’re looking for sustainable products then check if the fabrics come from a certified Organic or Sustainable source, ask questions and don’t be afraid to ask a brand "Who made your clothes?"
Many people will be celebrating baby’s first Christmas this year. What advice would you give to new parents celebrating Christmas with children for the first time?
I think this year will be very different for all of us, my two children Alice and Rhys are now 15 and 13. Looking back I kind of wish I’d had some ‘slower’ Christmas times with them when they were babies. The 15 years has gone in a flash, so if this is your first christmas with your new baby, relax and take it slow, make the most of this enforced quiet time, make memories for you and your little one and don’t worry about pleasing everyone around you, put yourselves and your baby first.
What are some failsafe gift ideas for baby’s first Christmas, and what considerations should friends and family members keep in mind when buying for new parents/new babies?
For baby, you can’t go wrong with one of our Bonnie mob baby blankets, we get so many parents telling us how their Bonnie mob blanket becomes a treasured bedtime sleep buddy, My nephew is 7 and still refuses to go to bed without his Bonnie mob blanket. We often get frantic messages from a parent searching a replacement for a lost, much loved blanket that is many seasons old!!
I love that you have the Sophie la Girafe gift boxes on your website, Sophie was a firm favourite with my two when they were little.
I also love to give a keepsake book, The Little People, BIG DREAMS collections are so inspiring, I wish they had been around when my kids were little.
My inner child is also quietly coveting the whole Moulin Roti collection you have on your website!
Finally, what are some of your favourite pieces from your collection?
It’s really hard to choose a favourite, I love all of this season, but I guess if pushed I’d go for the Grey deer knit romper and matching blanket, it’s knitted with a touch of cashmere for a super soft and cosy baby gift, I also love the Organic cotton Pea or Mushroom printed sleepsuits, they are super cute and add a little flash of colour to baby's wardrobe.
Shop Tracey's picks below: Grey Cotton Deer Knit Romper | Grey Deer Knit Blanket | Ivy & Green Pea Babygrow Set | Pink & Grey Toadstool Babygrow
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