Parents under pressure to dress their children in stylish outfits but still believe their children deserve quality and comfort before fashion

05 June 2013, London – New research from COTTON USA reveals that UK parents feel under pressure to keep up with celebrities and other parents in the playground when it comes to dressing their children. Half (49%) of parents questioned admitted that celebrity culture and mini-fashion icons like Suri Cruise and Harper Beckham influence how they dress their children. 52% of mums and dads said that they felt pressured by other parents to dress their children a certain way, with a staggering 87% of respondents saying that other parents treat their children like fashion accessories. However, one in four parents strongly disapproved of the celebrity clothing trend or said they had concerns about the movement towards more fashion conscious children’s clothing.

Despite these pressures parents prioritise quality over style when choosing clothes for their children. While the majority (74%) of parents agreed that style is important when dressing their child, only 15% felt that it was most important, compared to 26% who ranked quality as the most important factor.

Parents’ desire to find quality items for their children may help explain the surprising finding that 66% of parents (71% of mums and 55% of dads) spend more on clothes for their children than for themselves or their partner. More than three quarters (78%) of parents would be prepared to spend more for quality clothing compared to just under a quarter (24%) who would shell out more for style. Additional considerations that parents ranked above style included durability (49%) and comfortable, natural cotton fibres (40%).

For parents, fabric is a key consideration when shopping for clothes for their children. When selecting fabrics parents see durability (45%) and softness (44%) as equally important and 66% of parents will look for natural fibres above synthetic. Cotton was named the most desirable fabric by 79% of parents, a clear favourite and more than 12.5 times more popular than the next fibre, wool (6.3%).

Stephanie Thiers-Ratcliffe from COTTON USA said: "The research shows an increasing interest in stylish clothing for children but while trends come and go, it’s clear that good quality, comfortable and durable fibres like U.S. cotton never go out of fashion."


Notes To Editors

About the child’s clothing research

The research was carried out by The Leadership Factor, an independent research company, on behalf of COTTON USA. The results can be redistributed by third parties without prior consent, however, a credit for COTTON USA is kindly requested. Fieldwork in the UK was conducted during April/May 2013, with 1,000 parents surveyed with children ranging from 0-16 years old. The answers were analysed to give the results stated above.


COTTON USA is a brand that inspires trust and embodies quality in all products made using U.S. cotton. The COTTON USA Mark is a sign of reassurance of purity, strength, comfort and feel to consumers around the world. It can currently be found on a whole range of products including underwear and t-shirts at Bodas, jean collections at Replay, key bed linen ranges and on premium towel ranges at Marks and Spencer and Christy, with the towels also being available at John Lewis and House of Fraser. More information on COTTON USA and the benefits of U.S. cotton can be found at

About CCI

Cotton Council International was established in 1956 as an international export promotion arm of the National Cotton Council of America (NCC) to introduce and promote products manufactured with American cotton in overseas markets. CCI conducts a wide variety of programs targeting the trade and consumers to increase the demand for cotton in global markets. CCI works in close cooperation with the leading international cotton related organizations such as ACSA, AMCOT, ICA, Cotton Incorporated, the Japan Cotton Promotion Institute (JCPI), the Spinners’ and Weavers’ Association of Korea (SWAK), ICAC and others. CCI's headquarters is located in Washington, D.C., with regional overseas offices located in London, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai, in addition to a global network of representatives.

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Victoria Bonner / Katie Henry at Kazio PR

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