Here's a recessionista-friendly stimulus package of spring and summer staples that not only support conservation and charitable giving, but wow little wearers without breaking the bank.
Environmental awareness can often be the gorilla in the room. Wear it instead with help from Jilly Jellybug's organic offerings. The bibs, onesies, tees and dresses bearing Jilly Jellybug and her rainforest friends, Pavel Polliwog and Gracie Glowworm, help spread the word about lowland gorillas. A portion of each purchase goes toward protecting these mountain-dwelling primates. $27, www.etsy.com
The best part of waking up might just be facing the daily grind with hot tops and onesies from Baby Blend Tees. Each sweatshop-free style combines 100 percent organic cotton with comfort and social consciousness to create tongue-in-cheek choices like Veg Out and Stunt Man. One percent of annual sales goes toward grassroots environmental programs through 1% For The Planet. $23, www.babyblendtees.com
And let's not forget all friendly forest creatures. Dante Beatrix mixes childlike whimsy with modern sensibility in a newly launched line of tees. Featuring furry critters, these 100 percent heavyweight cotton ringers are sure to elicit smiles. $30, www.dantebeatrix.com
Give the chief haul monitor a little love in the form of Hedvig Bourbon's Lucas Diaper Bag & Stroller Tote. Designed for moms on the move with a clever hook-and-closure leather stroller-to-shoulder strap, this bag is all about family-friendly function. Pockets keep mom organized, while butterfly-embroidered fabric keeps her looking fabulous. $265, www.hedvigbourbon.com
Red Carpet Recovery Kit, $60, www.wood
Jumpseat Galley Tote, $220, www.jumpseatbags.com
Trailbreak multi-sport sandal, $49.99,
Twin/Triple Side-By-Side Sun Shade, $54.95. Use code protectyourbub for 10 percent off any order.www.protect-a-bubusa.com
The writing on the wall doesn't have to come courtesy of your child's crayons. Instead, think outside the lines to satisfy your pint-sized Picasso's need for self-expression with peel-and-stick wall decals from WallCandy Arts. With charmingly offbeat choices like Fly Society, Transport, Season Tree and chalkboard Rococco, sticking them up or taking them down whenever the mood strikes is a snap. The high-quality chalk is even dustless and free from latex, dairy, casein, egg, gluten, peanuts, tree nuts and soy ($36-$68). www.wallcandyarts.com
Trendy and tidy go hand in hand with new storage bins from Dwell Studio. Whether it becomes a catchall for soft creature comforts, mounds of dirty whites or piles of baby blankets, the heavy-duty, coated canvas bins in mod-pop patterns like Transportation, clean up has never looked so cool. $88, www.dwellstudio.com
For babies just finding their footing, these flowerful Mini Betty Mary Janes and Lisa sandals from Vincent, bedecked with butterflies, draw inspiration from nature while nurturing tiny toes with soft suede soles. $6.25-$47.95, www.vincentshoestore.us
Farmers markets have nothing on the fresh footwear introductions from cool urban creator See Kai Run. Think avocado green suede, paired with rich raspberry accents and faux-fur trim to make feet sweet with the Rhonda. Meanwhile flexible rubber soles, padded collars, generous widths and wide toe boxes coupled with appliquéd birds, stars and dot details in its Melody, Elaine and Dorothy namesake styles provide developing feet with kid-friendly comfort. $24-$54, www.seekairun.com
When it comes to fresh-picked kicks from Robeez' Mini Shoez and Classic soft sole collections, one need not look far from Mother Nature to find the inspiration behind the designs. Movers and shakers can look forward to a little spring in their step thanks to washable leather and an elasticized stay-on ankle feature ($27.95-$49.95). More than 160,000 pairs have been donated to disadvantaged kids around the world through the company's Heart & Sole program. www.robeez.com
With Pediped, leather never looked better as support and style come together to create long-lasting dramatic designs like the black and silver patent T-strap Victoria or playful size-to-suit choices like the Fuchsia Nubuck Jackie sneaker and retro-mod Giselle sandal. $32-$57, www.pediped.com
Maria Pilar Clark is a mom times two and Windy City-based writer.
See more of Pilar's stories here.