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Children’s clothing is very different from that of adults – on the one hand, children are much harsher on their clothes. Thus, children’s clothing must be extra durable, not only to withstand skidding in second base during lunchtime kickball matches, but must also be made from materials from which dirt and laziness are made. food can be easily washed. They (hopefully) spend a lot of time outdoors and need outerwear that protects against the rain and keeps warmth close to their body in cold weather.
At the same time, you may want to avoid clothing made with environmentally friendly chemicals. “Many consumer brands have been shown to contain dangerous chemicals in their clothing that can be absorbed through our skin,” says Nadine Maffre, editor-in-chief of Zero Waste Memories. “Some of these chemicals have been shown to be hormone disruptors, are carcinogens, or damage your nervous system.” To top it off, kids quickly outgrow their clothes, making bullion coins tricky.
With all of that in mind, designers who make children’s clothing – and do so in a sustainable way – often put a lot of thought and care into their products. Of course, they want to make it cute and comfy, so that the kids take it out of the drawer first, but they also want to make sure that it will withstand normal wear and tear and stay in good enough shape to pass through. . it’s up to other children to use it.
Below are our recommendations for the best sustainable children’s clothing.
We believe that the most sustainable option for children’s clothing is to buy it second-hand, either locally or through an online retailer like thredUp. However, if you’re looking to shop for organic basics like socks and underwear, take a look at the kids’ line from PACT Apparel (see on WearPact.com).
What to look for in sustainable children’s clothing
As Nadine Maffre says, there are many factors that come into play when it comes to classifying clothing as “sustainable”. “We have to look at where the fabrics come from, how they are grown / made, where the clothes are made (and who makes them), the transportation, how they are packaged and, of course, how well they ‘remade”, said Maffre. Yes, that’s a lot to consider and can feel overwhelming at first, but there are a few shortcuts.
There are a few labels you can look for: When it comes to textiles, Fair Trade Certified; GOTS, organic, Cradle to Cradle or Oeko-Tek certified; organic cottons and wools; and recycled materials. Also keep labor standards in mind: Children in another country with bad labor laws and law enforcement should not make your children’s clothes. “If clothes are very cheap, it’s usually because someone works for very little, often far from home,” says Maffre.
“Focus on buying quality clothing made locally and created from organic fibers. Do it and you’ll be on your way to supporting sustainable clothing brands,” advises Maffre. Since clothes will get too big for kids and budget is a concern for most parents, think about “quality over quantity”.
It’s easy to buy a five-pack of t-shirts, but does your child need five new t-shirts? What if you spent the same amount on two better quality shirts or bought some second hand t-shirts and invested the money in a good quality jacket (which could be passed on and worn by others) instead?
If you don’t get clothes from friends, check out children’s clothes at a local thrift store or online group, and buy new clothes, avoid synthetic materials like polyester, acrylic and nylon. “Although these fabrics are cheaper to produce, they pollute our environment at an alarming rate, they use non-renewable resources and they are not biodegradable at the end of their life,” explains Maffre.
Of course, kids may not understand why they aren’t getting new clothes, especially if they see this behavior online or from friends. But a few more memorable and fun pieces will be more satisfying in the long run. “One of the main reasons we all need to focus more on sustainability is to take care of the planet our children will grow up on,” says Maffre. “That’s a pretty motivating factor in itself!”
Why trust Treehugger?
To create this list, Treehugger enlisted the expertise of sustainability writer Nadine Maffre on what to look for in sustainable children’s clothing. We then looked at the manufacturing practices, ethics policies, and materials used by many children’s clothing brands to come up with a list of the best recommendations.
This article is from Starre Vartan, who covers science and the environment. She is also the author of “The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to Be Fabulously Green. “