Mom” was recently introduced to Garden Kids, which offers gorgeous & sustainable organic clothing for children that has stayed true to their values and beliefs since the company’s birth in 1994 – before “green” was as widespread as it is now! A brief interview with founder, Paula Haddad, gives us insight into what has made her company a long-standing member of the sustainable community.

An Interview with Paula Haddad of Garden Kids

Tell us about your eco-inspired company!

Garden Kids is an honest-to-goodness handmade organic children’s apparel company. We have been in business for 17 years making super cute organic clothing that’s fun to wear, soft & comfortable. Our clothing line includes t-shirts, shorts, skirts, dresses, pants, and jumpers, but we’re probably best known for our organic cotton pajamas. Our fabrics are sourced from U.S. suppliers almost exclusively, with our 50% hemp corduroy being the only imported fabric we use. The clothes are sewn by Norma, our wonderful seamstress who lives in Oregon. Our ongoing relationship with her is a big part of what makes Garden Kids successful.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

My hard-working mother taught me about healthy eating and organic foods long ago. I continue that same commitment in my own family, especially since my son was born with serious food allergies. My husband and I shop organic almost exclusively and we visit the local farmer’s market as often as our schedule allows. We love our native garden, which brings a lot of wildlife to our home – our neighbors enjoy it too. We avoid all products that use synthetic fragrances and we advise our patiently indulgent family and friends to do the same.

Guilty green pleasure?

A perfect, creamy latte made with fair trade coffee! We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to buy fair trade. Small coffee farmers worldwide are suffering terrible financial hardship, in contrast to the brokers. Starbucks is not their friend.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Try and stay focused on what you do best, though this can sometimes be difficult. Being in a green business exposes you to a hopeful and positive segment of society; people who have decided they want to make a difference. You’ll find inspiration in your customers, competitors and suppliers. Be prepared to educate and inform – the average consumer is still coming around to the idea of organic and sustainable.

*Image provided by Garden Kids.*