Welcome to October and Autumn has certainly arrived as its feeling alot colder! So to warm you up we’ve been chatting to founder Kate Bonhote all about her creative inspiring fun brand Totem Kids. She has a real passion for sustainability and thinks change is not happening fast enough in this months “meet the maker.”

Tell us about the story behind your brand Totem Kids and where it all started?

We were spending a year in Mexico (the inspiration behind the name) after my second son was born. I wanted a change from womenswear and designing kids clothes felt like a nice new venture. I had also become frustrated at the stereotyped gender-based clothes on offer. So that was a selfish motivation!

Forest Muse Digital Print Tee in Green Day Pattern by Totem Kids at Nurture CollectiveComing from a fashion industry background, how did this influence you when creating a sustainably focused brand?

While developing my brand, I watched the documentary ‘True Cost’. It was a pretty damning account of the only industry I have ever worked in, or am trained to work in. I had a complete wobble about even setting up another brand, so I spent a year studying sustainable fashion and researching the best practice.

Gingham Bomber Shirt by Totem Kids at Nurture Collective
Forest Muse Sweater by Totem Kids at Nurture Collective

How and where do you think the fashion industry could get better at creating more ethical and sustainable practices?

Ultimately changing its ideology, replacing something when it’s not broken is fundamentally unsustainable. We need to consider the continued life of a garment. I feel the industry is motivated to try to improve efficiency, and some strides are being made into new technologies, but it’s still in murky territory.

Do you think the industry is changing fast enough?

No, I feel its dipping its toes into what is primarily needed a complete overhaul. Big brands are making token gestures, rather than trying to figure out new business models. Governments also play a part, insisting on companies incorporating a sustainable and environmental policy. They can’t stand back and hope the industry suddenly starts self-regulating. It puts too much onus on the consumer demanding change.

Gingham Bomber Jacket by Totem Kids at Nurture Collective Ethical Baby Clothing
The Forest Muse Digital Print Tee in Pink Forest Pattern by Totem Kids at Nurture Collective

Tell us about the inspiration behind your photoshoot?

I was lucky enough to work with the talented duo Nici + Karin. I sent them my mood board and the inspiration behind the forest muse print, the collaboration with artist Lynn Hatzius. Her inspiration for the season was taken from forest walks with her children and how nature is so essential in childhood. Nici + Karin really identified with that, and they made suggestions on how we could incorporate that into a studio shoot. I feel the result worked out really well.

Let’s talk about your chosen Nurture Collective Icons why you chose them, and which ones mean the most to you? 

Ethical because without ethics, a brand has no hope of doing good or better, I feel this has to be an ongoing work in progress to improve. We need all need to start working with nature, not against it.

Whats your favourite Inspirational Quote:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead 


Totem Kids is a fun and unique clothing for kids aged 2-10 years. Shop the full range here: Totem Kids

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