30 Jan Sustainable Clothing For Children: Why Your Shopping Choices Matter So Much
Shopping for your child’s clothing can be lots of fun, but it can be challenging, too. Whether it’s a funky sun hat, a colorful dress for a special occasion, or a suit of checkered pants and a matching blazer, buying them new clothes makes your child look and feel great. And thanks to online shopping, the sky’s the limit in terms of how far afield you can go to purchase items you know will suit your little one perfectly.
But children grow so quickly, parents sometimes feel like the outfit they bought last week, adorable as it may be, won’t fit them within a month. And they’re right! That means either donating clothes or, if they’ve been worn and washed a lot, throwing them out. And tossing out clothes just doesn’t sit well with many parents today, knowing their children will one day inherit the planet and all its ecological issues.
Parents now are well aware that every piece of clothing they purchase represents far more than simply how their child looks and feels on the first day of school, for example. Every T-shirt bought, every onesie and every frilly dress, brings with it an entire set of consequences — to the planet, to the workers who made it, and to the plant where the clothing was manufactured. And because of those consequences, many parents are thinking long and hard about the clothes they buy for their little ones. To address this awareness, many companies have launched lines of sustainable clothing items for children.
In this post, we offer details about several companies who pay close attention to the environmental impact of their goods.
1. Dominic & Dempsey
If it’s sustainable, ethical footwear for your child that you’re after, this company, based in Texas, is a great option. All its footwear for children is 100 percent vegan, with no plastics whatsoever. For example, one boot called, “The Petit Vagabond,” offers lac-up style and good support for lots of walking, hiking and other activities children engage in constantly. The goods are made of organic, recycled materials, and are manufactured in Mexico under a fair wages agreement, handtooled on vintage equipment by skilled craftsmen. (http://www.dominicanddempsey.com)
2. Mini & Meep
This firm, based in South Carolina, really goes the distance when it comes to their commitment to ethical clothing for babies and toddlers. Every T-shirt includes a design by the company founder, and all are produced using no dyes, chemicals, or pesticides. Every garment is sewn in the United States, and for every purchase made, Mini & Meep donates a meal to a hungry child – more than 40,000, so far. The cotton used is 100 percent organic and unbleached. Also sold are accessories, including bibs, and T-shirts for mom. (http://www.miniandmeep.com)
3. Little Emperor
This company named itself after the adorable penguin of the far North. They offer clothes for children 2 – 8 years old, everything from T-shirts to pants, skirts and dresses. The firm guarantees its products are made in safe working conditions, and that all workers are paid fair wages. All clothes are made from ethically-produced 100 percent organic cotton and, unlike synthetics, if you have to throw something out, you can rest easy knowing it is biodegradable. The company is a member of the “1% For The Planet” organization, whose members commit a percentage of sales revenues to non-profit environmental agencies. (http://www.littleemperor.com)
4. Infantium Victorium
This company describes its wares as “vegan luxury” goods for children of all ages. It also has a division dedicated to second-hand clothing. All its products are certified by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and the company guarantees that all its clothing i
This innovative firm has different ways to access its products. You can buy, of course, or become a member of its “buy, rent and return” program, which in effect allows you to purchase clothing for a set period of time. When your child outgrows it, you return it for credit toward future purchases. All clothing sold by Borobabi is made of sustainable fabrics, like organic cotton. (http://www.borobabi.com)
This company focuses on T-shirts for children of all ages. Many have unique designs done by Santa Cruz artist Lili Arnold, and are gender neutral. Their range of T-shirts in a variety of sizes are all made of organic cotton, and all dyes used for the prints are non-toxic. Mightly is also a member of GOTS. (http://www.mightly.com)
Choosing to buy environmentally-friendly clothing for your child – clothes made of all-natural fabrics, with no chemicals, dyes or other toxins – is not always the most economical choice when it comes to dressing little ones. Fast fashion was practically invented for the children’s market, because the pieces don’t have to last more than a few months, since children outgrow them so quickly.
However, organically-grown cotton clothing, vegan footwear and other eco-conscious choices are the ethical choice. And they are, without exception, well-made and sturdy, and will last as long as your child can fit into them and beyond. And when they need a size bigger, that’s when you pass the clothing along to friends, family and secondhand stores. All these options have an endless need for children’s clothing, so it doesn’t go straight into a landfill.
When it does, as all clothing does sooner or later, you can rest easy, knowing that the wardrobe pieces you chose for your child were made of natural fibers, and the workers who made them were paid fairly. It is choices like these that set a good example for children, while keeping them snug, cozy and warm in organic apparel.