The Gender Neutral and Sustainable Children’s Line Made in Portugal
Diana Pais, Founder of Miss Castelinhos
I’m a former architect and art teacher. Nowadays I’m working full-time on my brand, Miss Castelinhos. I’m also a mother of two boys, currently living in the bay city of Setúbal, Portugal, with my husband and dog. I love to travel with my family and learn about other countries and cultures. My kids are my biggest inspiration; how they play, move around and their interests are what inspires me to design each collection. I also want to show them that they can pursue their dreams, create their own path and still be kind and respectful of others.
Miss Castelinhos is a wearable, gender neutral, sustainable, grow with you, and zero waste brand. The clothes I designed can be worn anytime, anywhere, all year-round, by boys and girls alike. By producing in small quantities I can focus on valuing longevity, craftsmanship, sustainability and creativity. All the pieces are manufactured here in Portugal, made with cotton sourced from deadstock and/or surplus fabric from textile factories that would otherwise go to waste.
Back in 2012, I started sewing as a hobby. Soon after I came across the Fashion Revolution Movement and the Rana Plaza incident in Bangladesh. It was shocking to find how the fast fashion industry treated the workers who made the clothes I bought so cheaply. From that moment on I decided to be an informed and conscious consumer. I went on to learn pattern drafting and sewing techniques so I could make my kids clothes and my own.
At the time, I couldn’t find many affordable children’s brands that were also ethically made and appealing to my esthetic. Most children’s brands focus on girls and as a mother of boys, that was quite frustrating. The next logical step, for me, was to create an affordable, sustainable, unisex brand.
My favorite product is the jumpsuit. I love how versatile and comfortable it is. Plus, it can “grow” with your child and transform from pants to shorts for warmer weather.
All pieces are designed by me and made in a small factory in the North of Portugal. I work with certified suppliers, creating long-lasting relationships which ensure good working conditions, fair wages and no child labour. I design one collection per year producing it in small batches and when sold out, restock only by customer demand. The fabric scraps leftover from the main collection are used to make smaller accessories. I also encourage my customers to send back their Miss Castelinhos items, once it has been outgrown, in order to be cleaned and/ or repaired and then placed for resale on my website at a discount. Anything that can’t be repaired will be upcycled. This will keep quality clothes out of the landfill and make affordable options available to other families.