Ethical Shopping for Kids
Children grow so fast, and the thought of investing in expensive pieces that they might wear for only a short season is hard to stomach. Here are a few tips that have helped us navigate shopping for children’s items for responsibly, but also keeping in mind the rate at which kids grow and change. Below we’ve also included our “Short List” for shopping for your children, if you’re in need of a slow fashion recommendation that we trust for your family!
5 Conscious Shopping Tips for Children’s Items
Second hand is king!
Second hand is really an amazing ethical option for all of us — but with how fast kids grow, second hand clothing has been the way to go for our family. The term ‘second hand’ can come in a few different forms. A. Hand-me-downs from family and friends has been the biggest help, especially when our children were just babies and flying through clothing sizes. B. The next option we utilized was our local thrift stores that catered specifically to Children. Any thrift store is great, but if you have a few in your area that are kid-specific, you’ll find the options to be endless. We’ve found many pieces that still have original tags on them, but for a fraction of the cost.
clothing swaps help fill the gaps.
As our children grow out of sizes, we try and find other family or friends who have kids in an age range that match the clothing we no longer need. It ensures a good home for the pieces and keeps others from having to purchase items. Since doing this, we’ve had family friends do the same thing for us — swapping clothing as our children grow to help fill in gaps has been an amazing way to steer clear of making new purchases, and also get extra use out of existing pieces!
I find this tip to be a little easier with girls, but for sweaters and shirts, it can work for boys on some levels. When we do make new or used purchases, I try and size up in some areas to help the items last. For girls, this can mean buying a dress that can later be used as more of a top with leggings with growth. For boys, this could mean simply buying a sweater that runs a little big, knowing it will fit perfectly the next season. Sizing up helps extend life in clothing where possible.
avoid the clothing “traps.”
Here’s the thing. There are times we have had to make purchases at Target or Walmart because of an immediate need for our children — however, we try and avoid shopping for clothing here where possible unless we know the origin of where the pieces came from. It’s so easy for us to walk through the kid’s sections and be drawn into how adorable the options are, and next thing I know I have items in my cart that I don’t need. My tip for this (and really this is just preaching to myself) is to not go into these sections when I’m in these stores. Sounds silly, right? I do the same thing when I go grocery shopping lol — avoid the areas where I know I’ll get myself in trouble (i.e. candy!).
Know your go-to conscious companies for heirloom pieces.
If you already have a good list of conscious companies at “the ready” when you want to invest in new items, it really makes it easier. We’ve included a list below of both clothing and toy options for children that will hopefully help with this process! We also recommend choosing to invest in pieces that you want to see stick around in your family for awhile. Maybe a hand knit sweater or a special toy —it might cost more, but it’s something you want to keep in the family for awhile.