Waddler kids is far from your typical children’s clothing brand…it’s a South American adventure; from breathtaking photo shoots by Sajama, Bolivia’s highest mountain and dormant Volcano to Baby Alpaca Yarn from El Alto and Andean hand knitters who make Waddlers collection.
The Waddler adventure began in North West Argentina where we moved with our 1-year-old son in 2008. He son spent his first years picking avocados in a tropical garden, riding bareback with gauchos and eating delicious empanadas. He saw the forests come alive with Ceibo blossom in the winter, watched fireflies light up his bedroom in spring and clapped his hands at alligators lazing in the hot summer sun. Our clothes are inspired by the magic of this life, explain Philip and Marina.
The Waddler story began with a young couple Philip Thompson and Marina Scrymgeour. Philip worked in documentary television in London and as a journalist in South America, and Marina previously worked in theater and in the art world. Philip and Marina fell into the world of kids fashion through a happy coincidence of necessity (having a kid that needed good clothes!), inspiration and lifestyle.
We shot Waddler’s Fall Winter Collection photos by Sajama, Bolivia´s highest mountain, and a dormant Volcano. We took 6 kids on an adventure to the snow line at 5km above sea level! explains Philip.
Alpaca Fiber Maintains Body Heat
For thousands of years, Alpaca’s have grazed the Andean Altiplano and the local people have shared their fleece to make clothing for protection against the cold conditions. Uniquely adapted to this harsh climate the hollow structure of Alpaca fiber maintains body heat in even the coldest temperatures – a feature passed on in Waddler clothes.
The alpaca is also an environmentally positive creature. It doesn’t overgraze and it’s padded feet don’t damage fragile ecosystems. And the few young Alpacas who don’t make it through the natural rigors of the foaling season provide us with our ethical fur.
Baby Alpaca Yarn – Super Soft and Gentle on Children’s Skin
El Alto is one of the world’s highest cities where the crystal clear mountain air and bustling Andean culture lend it an other‐worldly feel. It’s here that a small cooperative process the wool from their own alpacas using 19th-century British machinery and turn it into our beautiful soft baby alpaca wool. Baby alpaca is a high-grade alpaca similar to cashmere whose fibers are as fine as 18 micros – this makes it super soft to the touch and gentle on children’s skin.
Waddler Knitters – Draw on Andean Textile Traditions
Not far from where the yarn is made, small groups of men and women hand knit the yarn into Waddler designs. The knitters draw on Andean textile traditions handed down over generations to produce well made and durable clothing. Waddler ensures they receive a decent wage (more than 3 times the minimum wage) and because of this many have been able to send their kids to school, buy household goods like washing machines and generally improve their often basic living conditions.
Waddler has been named by VOGUE in their list of the top 100 online stores and received a “highly commended” award in 2012 by UK’s Junior Magazine.
Enjoy more of my favorite children’s fashion created in Bolivia on Dashin Fashion Magazine.