There is a myth that second-hand shopping is the only way to guarantee that your children's clothing is sustainable. Today, we are here to lay out all the facts about sustainable kids’ clothing and how to find them.
There are so many ways to shop sustainably for your kids if you're trying to avoid fast fashion. In this post, we will cover the best tips and tricks that guarantee the most eco-friendly clothing for your growing little ones.
There is no doubt about it, shopping at second-hand stores is a great way to purchase your children’s clothes sustainably. Secondhand clothing ensures that you are giving unwanted clothes a new life and helps keep them out of the landfills a little longer, and even better, they're often connected with non-profits.
Sadly, unless there is a clothing recycling facility in your area, these clothes will still end up in a landfill, and some of them will still take hundreds of years to break down. Statistics show that only 15% of used clothing in the US actually gets recycled.
Similar to secondhand stores, consignment lets you purchase gently used clothes in excellent condition, usually way better conditions than those donated to secondhand stores for resale.
Consignment could also be an excellent sustainable fashion option for you to resale and instill a second life in your littles clothes once they grow out of them or don’t need them anymore. Sometimes, they even let you trade up clothing that your child grew out of for new items.
Bonus, most consignment shops are locally owned and help keep local dollars circulating in the community. A win-win for sustainable living!
If you take good care of your high-quality children’s clothes and implement sustainable and eco-friendly laundry practices, these laundry practices that are free of harmful chemicals will help your clothes last longer and help your kids’ clothes make excellent hand me downs.
It’s also a great practice if you plan on having multiple kids. Especially if you implemented gender neutral baby clothing for your littles when they were born, then you can practice hand me downs in your own household and ensure that these little worn items get a new life and that they don’t make it into the landfill.
Handing down clothes is a timeless tradition, and it’s a great practice to get into. Regularly cleaning out your kids’ closet for things they no longer wear means you can make room for newer items to come into rotation.
Baby clothes rental services are a great way to guarantee a sustainable wardrobe for your child. Especially when they are really little and not making huge messes.
Baby clothes rental services come in the form of a subscription, and you send back and receive a new package with “new-to-you” baby clothes in the box.
You get the luxury of dressing your baby up in something new each month without over purchasing unnecessary clothing. Instead, it’s as if you and several other mothers share the new clothes’ expense without creating the waste.
Just be sure you recycle your mailers to help maintain the sustainability of the program.
Sustainable Children Clothing Brands
There are affordable clothing brands out there with sustainable practices already in place. Sustainability in a clothing brand means that a business uses sustainable materials and employs company-wide methods and fair trade working conditions that help prevent waste, reduce environmental damage and exploitation in the supply chain.
Thinking sustainably isn’t just something we want to do for the planet. It’s something that more and more parents see as their duty to this world.
More and more millennials are starting families now and are beginning to instill more eco-friendly habits into their children. Future generations will soon be equipped with the day-to-day knowledge that organic is better, not just for you, not only for your children, or your children’s children but for the future of every living being on our planet.
That’s powerful knowledge to pass down when you’re just considering which onesie to purchase for your little one at the store. Adopting new ideas like these make it easier for companies to create more and more sustainable products.
With companies like Mon Coeur, you know that you’re getting clean, sustainable products that will last you a long time. We use reclaimed organic cotton in our children’s clothing, so you know you’re doing the best possible thing for planet Earth and your child.
Some of these sustainable brands use all organic materials. These materials and fibers are harvested and processed sustainably to be made into fabrics that are then made into the brand’s products. Ideally, these products won't use pesticides and make use of low-impact dyes instead of toxic dyes.
Some brands do all the processing themselves, while others simply purchase organically grown and processed materials from other companies. Keep a lookout for not only organic materials but also sustainable company-wide practices when it comes to paying workers living wages and more.
A company that uses organic cotton but doesn’t recycle or support the green industry is a big red flag.
These materials can be:
- Organic wool, both merino and not
- Organic cotton
- Organic hemp
- Organic bamboo
No matter which organic materials you choose for your child’s clothing, all of the above materials can be recycled and remade into new fibers and fabrics that can then be made into new clothing.
Want to recycle your old clothing?
- Look for recycling drop-offs in your area that take damaged and work clothing.
- Talk to your local Habitat for Humanity or even speak with someone at a local thrift store about how they recycle clothing.
- Some brands even take their own clothing back to recycle them.
Recycled fibers are made from used items that have transformed into something else in order to give them a second or even a third life. These fabrics are usually made from other fibers that are broken down and then turned back into yarns or threads.
However, surprisingly recyclable plastic bottles can be broken down and turned into an incredibly sturdy thread that can be woven into fabric and used to make incredibly long-lasting clothing that is just as soft as cotton. This is becoming more and more common in clothing items like leggings and t-shirts, just to name a few.
Some fibers and items that can be used to create more fibers and fabric are:
- Recycled silk
- Recycled cotton
- Recycled wool
- Recycled polyester
- Recycled plastic bottles
The great thing about recycled organic materials is that they can be given a useful final resting place outside of a landfill. Since they are made of organic material, they are biodegradable. Biodegradable materials can easily be incorporated into garden beds as mulch or used once more to create grain sacks to be used in the organic farming industry before they are set aside to breakdown in a compost pile.
That would mean that one simple sheet of fabric used to make your kiddos’ hoodies could be reused up to four times before it composted back into the earth, even then having a fifth use as food for all the worms and critters that help us break down organic material. Incredible!
First-Hand Organic And Second hand Everything Else
In conclusion, whether you buy second hand, shop organic clothing, or even shop recycled, there are several sustainable ways to guarantee your children (and your entire family) are living in an eco-friendly wardrobe.
When you take the simple steps to start purchasing second-hand clothing—whether through thrifting or consignment or even clothing swapping with your friends’ children—you are taking several small steps in the right direction toward sustainable action.
Sustainable actions are contagious and hereditary and help protect and care for our planet in several significant ways, especially when passed on to our children.