Since most of us are shopping for the back-to-school season, I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about how I (mostly) choose our clothing items. Over the years, I have considerably reduced the amount of kids clothing I buy because kids outgrow clothing super fast and a lot of these clothes end up in landfills. Textile manufacturing in itself already has a heavy impact on the environment since it utilizes energy, water, and chemicals in its production. By purchasing essentials plus a few pieces that the kids really like (for example this yellow jumper from Gap Kids that caught Akshaya’s eye), I make sure we get good use of the clothing we buy.
I love Gap Kids because a lot of their clothing items including socks are made from cotton. We choose materials like 100% cotton (organic cotton when possible), linen, and wool as they are natural and sustainable choices of fabric. We avoid materials like polyester and acrylic because they are synthetic and therefore not biodegradable. Even if clothing is made from recycled, synthetic materials such as some items from the H&M Conscious line, I opt not to purchase them. Every time we wash clothing made from synthetic materials like polyester, plastic microfibers are released into our waterways, contaminating bodies of water as well as getting ingested by animals and indirectly by us too. However the 100% cotton pieces from H&M’s conscious line are great! I’ve purchased joggers, tights, and full-sleeve tops all from the conscious line.
On that note, I love the Parkland backpacks made from recycled water bottles because they are sustainable. Since we won’t be washing backpacks nearly as much as we wash clothing, this is a pretty good choice. The exterior fabric of all Parkland backpacks and accessories are made from recycled plastic water bottles. Infact the adult-sized backpack is made with 12 water bottles! Even the leather diamond is made from apple waste (a by-product of juice production) to form a 100% vegan leather, quite similar to actual leather. Parkland makes adult, kid, and toddler backpacks, lunch bags, pencil cases, and more!
However, if you are looking for a polyester-free option, So Young’s raw linen and washable paper backpacks (and lunch bags) are the way to go. Our lunch bags have lasted about five years now and are in incredible condition.
Lastly, what are your favourite places to shop for kids clothing? Let me know in the comments below.