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Meet the Liverpool designers who each started their own kids' clothing brand from scratch

Liverpool Echo logo Liverpool Echo 26/06/2022 Sarah Sandison

Dressing the kids doesn't have to cost a fortune, but you don't always want to kit them out in clothes from Primark and Tesco either.

Liverpool is full of talented designers and this week I've been chatting to three women who each have their own clothing brand, selling brilliant children's wear. If you're looking for original, cool and stylish clothes for your little ones this summer, look no further than these female owned Liverpool brands.

These local creatives and parents have bridged the gap between fun and affordable, and resolve all of our frustrations. By supporting them, you're supporting a local business owner too.

READ MORE: 'The rules need to change' Liverpool mums priced out of the workplace by crippling childcare fees

Here they share their stories of how they got started:

Smaller Explorer

Founded by Rebecca Obong, from Smithdown, Liverpool. Rebecca said: “We started off selling kid’s vintage clothing, then after that we started stocking a few independent brands. It was hard to find exactly what we wanted. We always found it difficult to find clothes for our children that were affordable, good quality and easy to wear. Not only as a store owners, but as parents.

Smaller Explorer is a Liverpool clothing range started by Rebecca Obong © Liverpool Echo Smaller Explorer is a Liverpool clothing range started by Rebecca Obong

“We slowly started to design our own products and have them made in small runs. This is basically how Smaller Explorer as a brand started. We are inspired by vintage and contemporary American and Japanese workwear, urban fashion and street style.

“We also always preferred gender neutral designs as they’re much more versatile and can be handed down between siblings. The idea of inclusiveness and clothes that can be worn by any child really appeals to our customers too.”


Video: Fun things to do with the kids in Liverpool and beyond (Liverpool Echo)

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Smaller Explorer is a Liverpool clothing range started by Rebecca Obong © Liverpool Echo Smaller Explorer is a Liverpool clothing range started by Rebecca Obong

“Since we started the brand last year we’ve gone from strength to strength. We’re now at the stage where we’re stocked in stores in the UK, Japan, Hong King, Mainland China and Taiwan, with stores in America and Europe to join later this year. You can shop the store here.

Mion

Founded by Lily Scanlon, who was born and raised in Liverpool. She said: “I left Liverpool age 20 and lived in London and Brighton for eight years. I returned to Liverpool with two children and had my third at 28. All three are boys, which I suppose gave me the initial idea for Mion, which is an Irish word for mini, small, tiny.

Mion is a Liverpool clothing brand founded by Lily Scanlon © Liverpool Echo Mion is a Liverpool clothing brand founded by Lily Scanlon

“When shopping for my boys, I found all the clothes in high street shops were pretty boring compared to the girls. And boutique prices were really high. So I set about creating a super stylish unisex clothes brand, that was affordable for the average mum too. During lockdown when I wasn't working and ferrying the kids around to a million places, I thought this was the perfect time to start and see how it goes.”

Mion now has a mum and mini collection so you can match and look adorable. You can browse the entire collection here.

Reins

Reins clothing is a Liverpool brand created by Rhi Jones © Liverpool Echo Reins clothing is a Liverpool brand created by Rhi Jones

Created by Rhi Jones, originally from wales, Rhi moved to Liverpool when she was 19. She said: "I was getting annoyed that I couldn’t find clothes I liked for my son Rafferty. Nothing was very fun, affordable or kind to Earth when he was little. So I set about creating just that. I also wanted strong illustration and collaborative input from females creatives.”

Reins clothing is a Liverpool brand created by Rhi Jones © Liverpool Echo Reins clothing is a Liverpool brand created by Rhi Jones

You can find the brand at lots of local independent markers markets around the city and you can also shop via the website here.

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