Wish you could easily find better, more eco-friendly and sustainable clothing basics for your kids? These five brands all offer high-quality basics for kids that are made with sustainable materials.
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Can anyone explain to me why it’s so hard to find high-quality, simple clothing basics for kids? When I shop for clothes for my boys, nearly everything is covered in phrases like “Dad’s MVP” or “Mom’s Cutie Patootie”. Particularly when my boys were younger, I had the hardest time finding clothes for them that didn’t say something silly.
As they get older and more into sports, they gravitate toward clothes that are covered in sports logos and images (when I let them peruse clothing themselves, which is rare). At this age, I still do primarily all the shopping for my boys, and I haven’t really offered them too many choices. In due time, I’m sure they will ask to be more involved, but for now it’s smooth sailing.
Like many parents, I prefer simple basics that aren’t drowning in logos, embellishments, and glitter. Luckily, there are a handful of brands that offer simple but stylish basics for kids made with eco-friendly materials and with ethical supply chains in mind.
5 Clothing Companies That Sell Great Sustainable Basics For Kids
Orbasics offers a line of great, simple pieces that are gender-neutral, made with 100% organic cotton, and built to last. All of the organic cotton is certified under Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS). This means that the cotton is grown without the use of genetically modified seeds, harmful pesticides, chemicals or toxins, which is great for the planet and also for our children’s skin. As the largest organ of our body, we often forget about the chemicals our skin may absorb from our clothes.
Thanks to Orbasics for sending each of my boys a pair of their Oh-So-Easy Pants to try out!
They are well-known for their pajamas and so many cute kids clothes, but they also have a line of Bright Kids Basics. Nearly all of their clothes are made with fabrics that are Certified by OEKO-TEX® Standard 100. The STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is a worldwide consistent, independent testing and certification system that helps ensure various harmful chemicals are not included in raw, semi-finished and finished textile products. Additionally, in accordance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, they also share information about the Code of Conduct they use and the procedures they have in place to help ensure their products are not manufactured with child labor.
Colored Organics makes all of their clothing with 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton and also places an emphasis on ethical working conditions for it’s employees and makers. It only works with factories that provide fair wages and appropriate working environments for their employees. They also use a portion of their proceeds to build and support an orphanage in India as well as local projects for children in need. (They are based in my hometown, so that might hold a special place in my heart.) 🙂
Lark Adventurewear makes ethical and sustainable basics for infants and toddlers that is made from 60% cotton and 40% bamboo fabric. The fabric is Oeko-tex 100 Certified, and they are made in the United States. They have really cute pieces like onesies and fun but simple dresses with adorable prints that aren’t at all obnoxious or overdone.
I hesitated about whether or not to add this brand because, by definition, I’m not sure they have sustainability and ethical matters at the core of their business.
However, we have many pieces from Primary that we’ve had for a while. The boys love them. I think they are great, and they’ve held up well to the wear and tear of two young boys. (That’s saying something.) They also fit my boys well. Both my boys are quite thin, so I have a hard time finding clothes (especially pants) that are long enough but don’t fall down to their ankles. Primary clothes fit my thin little guys well, and the pieces have been great additions to their wardrobe.
They also have a fantastic collection of Halloween ideas because their basic pieces make great bases for Halloween costumes that can be dressed up for the one-day celebration and then worn again on regular days. I’m always on the hunt for good alternatives to the cheap, junky Halloween costumes that end up in the trash not long after they are worn. Last year, my boys both wore Primary basics as their foundation of their Halloween costume, which I shared about on the blog last year. FYI: I have a whole page of Halloween ideas if you’re interested.
While it’s important to place priority on the sustainability of our clothes, I also think there’s value is something that doesn’t go out of style and will last. Even if my boys outgrow the clothes, they can be passed on to other families. Far too many of our clothes end up landfills, and selecting classic styles helps alleviate some of the churn of our fast fashion cycle.
Primary also has a school fundraiser program through which a school can set up a fundraiser and 10% of all purchases go back to the school. I think this is a great way to help fund our schools if we need to buy some basics for our little ones anyway.
It’s your call on the amount of transparency you prefer when it comes to buying clothes for your kids. I definitely understand if Primary isn’t right for you. The clothes from Primary, however, are reasonably priced and of high quality, so I wanted to include them as an option for families to consider.
Quick Summary of Ethical Clothing Basics for Kids