Sustainability is all about building a better future for the next generation.
It’s about doing things today that will make the world a better place for our kids to grow up in. So it makes sense that we should buy our kids’ clothes from brands that truly value sustainability.
We’re not just talking about hand-me-downs and thrift store finds, there are actually several kids clothing brands that specialize in sustainability. By choosing companies that really care about the environment and the fate of future generations, we can use our power as consumers to make sure that future is a bright one.
Here are six of the best clothing brands that make sustainable clothes for kids, and they each have their own unique and innovative way of doing it.
Jackalo is a Netherlands-based brand with a focus on making durable, long-lasting clothes while offering discounts to customers who send back used clothes. Their products are designed for kids age 4-14.
The company offers free repairs for up to six months after each purchase. When your little angel spreads their wings and grows out of something, you can send it back through their “TradeUp” program and get a $15 discount off your next item. Jackalo will then clean and repair the old item and either post it for resale at a discount or recycle/upcycle anything they can’t repair.
Their aim is to ensure none of their clothes end up in the landfill. Now if that’s not making the world a better place, then what is?
Jackalo clothes are made with sustainable materials, processed using renewable energy and produced ethically. The Jackalo website explains exactly how and where the materials are farmed, processed and assembled, so you can be sure that their commitment to sustainability is genuine.
Jackalo ships worldwide and holds stock in Europe and the U.S., so no need to worry about hefty delivery emissions no matter what side of the pond you’re on!
Ever wonder what happens to all the scrap fabric from clothes factories around the world once all the clothes have been made? Unfortunately, a lot of it ends up in the landfill, but Over All 1516 is trying to change that.
This Australia-based, East London-inspired brand works with a mill in Guatemala that eliminates waste by producing new textiles from discarded denim offcuts. Over All 1516 then uses this “pre-consumer upcycled denim” to create stylishly durable overalls for children age 0-6. Turning “Offcuts to Overalls!” is their motto.
According to Over All 1516, every kilogram of upcycled denim incorporated instead of regular denim saves 20,000 liters of water, and every ton of upcycled denim prevents 20 tons of CO2 emissions. Combined with all the discarded denim being averted from landfills, it seems Over All 1516 is certainly doing their bit for the environment.
The upcycled denim they purchase is free from chemicals and dyes, 100% biodegradable and ethically manufactured in Australia. Each garment even comes with instructions for how to properly care for the item, as well as a name tag with three spaces to encourage you to pass on the garments once your kid grows out of them. So they really must be built to last!
Over All 1516 is a very young brand that began shipping worldwide in early 2020. To cut down on carbon emissions, they send all their international shipments by sea and use local bike couriers as much as possible.
True sustainability involves cleaning up the mess we’ve already made, as well as ensuring that we don’t make another one. Faire Child has got both angles covered.
Faire Child is a Canadian brand that makes waterproof kids jackets, coats, mittens, dungarees, pants and hats from PET plastic bottles. Their products are made from 100% recycled material — with 19 plastic bottles used for each raincoat they produce — and are designed for kids age 1-12.
Each garment is handmade in Dartmouth Nova Scotia using climate-neutral manufacturing processes, and can be endlessly recycled. So not only does Faire Child turn plastic waste into beautiful clothing, the clothing they create can be recycled over and over again into new clothes post-use.
And you don’t even have to do the recycling yourself! Faire Child has a ‘Take Back Program.’ They will recycle any old garments you send back to them and give you a 15% discount off your next purchase for your troubles. A pretty ‘waterproof’ deal all-in-all I would say.
All Faire Child’s products are completely waterproof, free from toxic chemicals and, of course, 100% recyclable. On their website they give a pretty detailed account of exactly what materials they use.
Faire Child ships worldwide, and also sells via physical stores in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia.
All kids are unique. They each have their own curious, magical way of seeing the world.
But one thing that all kids have in common is that they grow, fast! You buy a nice new pair of pants or a stylish new sweater for your two-year-old, and a month later they’ve grown out of it. This just isn’t sustainable financially, never mind for the environment.
But what if you didn’t have to buy every item of clothing?
UpChoose is a San Francisco-based company on a mission to bring sustainable, organic baby clothes to the masses by removing the need to own the clothes your child wears. They make clothes for babies age 0-3.
With UpChoose you can select a set of clothes for your baby, pay a monthly fee for the clothes and then ship the clothes back for free as your baby grows. Then you can get a whole new set delivered to your door that fits just right. You also have the option to buy the clothes and sell them on the UpChoose online platform when you’re done with them.
All the brands available on UpChoose are 100% certified organic, ethically sourced and sustainably grown without any harmful chemicals. You can choose to order new or ‘pre-loved’ for 30% off, and all the clothes you send back are resold at a reduced price or recycled. This system ensures that none of the clothes become waste when they no longer fit the initial user.
Currently UpChoose only serves U.S. customers but they are working on expanding to other countries soon. If you’re based in Europe, Circos is another great company that offers a very similar service there.
Speaking of Europe, From Babies With Love is a U.K.-based social enterprise that sells ethically-sourced baby clothes and gifts. They are a purpose-led brand, and partner with charities such as Street Child and SOS Children’s Villages to donate all profits to orphaned and abandoned children around the world.
They have so far helped to provide family homes, education, health care and trauma support for over 7,000 underprivileged children. Every product they sell allows them to continue this great work.
From Babies With Love makes their baby clothes from certified organic cotton in SMETA audited, ethically run factories in Turkey and China. All garments are naturally biodegradable and “produced with sustainability in mind.” The clothes cater to babies age 0-2, but they also make a sweater that’s suitable for children age 2-11.
Buying from them is a great way to dress your own kids in high-quality sustainable clothes while also helping disadvantaged kids around the world as well. The brand offers worldwide delivery, so there’s no limit to who can buy.
You know what they say, sharing is caring, and sharing is sustainable, too! It’s much better for the planet and your bank balance if you can buy high-quality used clothing for your kids and sell any clothes they’ve grown out of for a fair price. Kidizen allows you to do all of that in the same place.
Not a clothing brand per se, Kidizen is an online marketplace for kids clothes that is “built by moms and created for families everywhere”. Their platform provides an online community that “connects moms with other moms,” and allows users to buy and sell second-hand kids clothes and accessories. This ability means your used clothes don’t get thrown in the trash, and you get to save some cash!
It’s kind of like a social network for parents where you can set up a profile and connect with other users to buy or sell ‘pre-loved’ kids clothes or even just share thoughts and experiences.
Via the Kidizen website or mobile app, you can set up your own online shop and employ it to sell any unused clothes you have lying around. If you’re not interested in selling, you can still use the platform to connect with other users and snap up any bargains you might find.
Kidizen is currently only available in the U.S. If you like, you can read a detailed review of their platform here on the Public Goods blog.
With everything that’s going on in the world, it’s reassuring to know there are brands out there that care about our kid’s futures. If we can teach our kids about the importance of sustainability by dressing them in sustainable brands, there’s a higher chance they’ll grow up to become stewards of the planet.
Download Our Free Guide to Sustainable Living.
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