7 Little Coathangers

I stumbled upon @danishpainter's family on Instagram a few weeks ago and was instantly captivated by the photos, the clothes and the many children that are part of this family. I had so. many. questions. The perfectly styled outfits, the very tall kids, their Wes Anderson-esque life... we couldn't resist but to ask.
Claire and Duncan graciously agreed to let us raid their children's closets... and give us a bit of backstory on their little (BIG) family. I so loved reading their story, I'm sure you will too!

We live on the Suffolk coast and are surrounded by beautiful beaches.. We met young - at 17 and 20 - I, apparently, stole his chair in a Brewery (I didn’t.) We started a family soon after and have 7 children: Olivia and Claude are contented 20-somethings. After a big gap we had 4 children in 5 years (Lahlee, Shine, Xanthe and Margot) and, finally, lucky Golden as I was approaching 40 and panicked. Once I saw how beautiful my eldest, Olivia, was I knew that I wanted a big family. Following some negotiating, I got my way. 

My love of children's fashion turned into an obsession when both Shine and Xanthe were born prematurely at 24 weeks. They spent over 100 days in hospital. When we finally got them home I wanted them to be as comfortable as possible. I discovered Scandinavian baby clothes were all about the softest organic fabrics and easy dressing. They also had amazing, colourful designs, which I felt would stimulate their senses and help them to catch up. 

Once I had invested in these clothes I never could go back to fast fashion. After many wears they still look like new. They could also be handed down to either gender. 

Up until the day that Shine arrived early, I was working as a Marine Biologist. The extra care that he needed meant that I was then able to stay at home with all of my children and nurture them. We cannot think of a downside to having a large family. Our house feels like we are invited to a party together every single day and the children learn so much about sharing and caring from each other. Actually I’ve just remembered the one downside: We always need a car the size of a van and, whatever music we have loudly playing as we drive along, one can never look cool in a small bus.

Our lives are filled with playing out of doors, embracing nature, music, dancing and love. My best advice to any parent is to always take their child’s top off when they eat tomato pasta sauce. This protects the clothes, but we have had some funny looks in restaurants!

The clothes that we selected for Shop Copito are almost all Scandinavian and Spanish, we strive to buy ethically produced goods. We embrace the opposite of “fast fashion” and “low-cost retail” as this promotes a throw-away attitude to something that should be cherished. I tell my children about the poor working conditions that some people STILL face in 2019, and the environmental impact of shops selling clothes for pocket money prices that are thrown away, on average, after just 5 weeks! They are keen to be part of the resale market in the hope that together we can see an end to disposable fashion. The slow fashion movement “Buy ethically and sparingly” is something we are working on.To buy clothes like our parents did and to pass them on. 

My favourite Spanish brands are Bobo Choses and The Animals Observatory although we recently discovered - and loved - The Campamento. Molo and Mini Rodini are our favourite Scandi brands. In the past, when new collections came out I could not resist buying it all, so that the children would match. Now I buy key pieces, think more about mixing brands and seasons to create our look. I am now much braver at doing this since seeing stylists at work when our children have modelling jobs. 

One regret is that I never bought a piece of Mini Rodini that featured the one-legged Pirate - because Daddy has one leg also. Now if I see a gorgeous print, I buy it immediately  rather than wait. I often get messages from people saying they had missed out on a certain piece they see in our Instagram feed. My advice would definitely be to buy it, rather than regret it. Then hand it down, and finally send it to another family to love. 
Our favourite pieces from this selection are the Mini Rodini ‘Mermies’ Leggings and the blue TAO Trousers.
Peace and Love from our family to yours - Claire & Duncan.