There’s a new kid on the block in the Austin retail scene — and it’s not kidding around about offering the best of upcycled couture for the youngest among us.
Classic Childhood is a new children’s shop at 2005 Southern Oaks Dr. in South Austin. Dubbed a “sustainable children’s clothing brand,” Classic Childhood works to extend the life of textiles by upcycling pre-worn button-up shirts (which might otherwise end up in a landfill) to create darling children’s clothing parents can feel good about.
The shop, the brainchild of owner Pamela Torres, is far from simply a retail emporium, and features a range of offerings, including a sewing studio where the majority of Classic Childhood apparel is designed and crafted. The store can make clothing alterations to help customers extend the life of their wardrobe, as well as provide customization in the form of embroidery and vinyl printing.
The store’s retail space includes clothing for babies and children up to age 5, as well as accessories and women’s apparel. Styles include rompers (the most popular style appears to be the signature bubble romper), as well as bonnets, pajamas, bloomers, and face masks.
The concept, while a contemporary take on kids’ fashion that will certainly hit home with sustainably minded Austin parents, was influenced by timeless European styles.
“In early 2018, I spent some time in Spain and I fell in love with how they dressed their children. It was classic and gender-neutral,” Torres says. “When I got back to Austin, I dusted off my sewing machine and started to sew things for my son using my husband’s old shirts to test patterns and styles. As I began researching the fashion industry, I learned about the immense waste it created and my mission was born: Create a fashion brand that extended the durability of existing clothing.”
According to Torres, for every shirt Classic Childhood upcycles, about 2,700 liters of water — the equivalent of three years of drinking water for one person — is saved, with the upcycling process also reducing pesticides in soil as well as limiting pollution that’s created in the manufacturing process.
Environmentally conscious Austinites who want to help Torres in her mission will be fittingly rewarded, with those donating three or more shirts (100 percent cotton fabric, no elastic, no bleach, no chemicals) for upcycling receiving a 15 percent discount on retail items. Donations are accepted at Classic Childhood’s shop, or shoppers can email email@example.com to get a mailing guide with more info.
In the meantime, Classic Childhood will celebrate its grand opening Saturday, June 12 from 9 am-1 pm, with a fun time for all. The opening party will include music, face painting, beverages, and complimentary snacks from local spots Blenders & Bowls and GoodPop. RSVP and get more info online.