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How To Keep Your Kids’ Wardrobes Sustainable

How To Keep Your Kids’ Wardrobes Sustainable

How To Keep Your Kids’ Wardrobes Sustainable

We hear it time and time again: the fashion industry needs to be more sustainable. 85% of textiles end up in landfills every year, according to the UNECE. But, when we think about the issues associated with fashion, we tend to focus on adult clothing. Adults discard their clothes mostly because they are bored or their style has changed. Adults don’t fluctuate in size nearly as often as children, so they don’t go through as many garments. 

Our children are growing out of clothes rapidly. I remember my mom’s remarks when something didn’t fit right: “Well, you’ll grow into it.” We often bought clothes a size or two bigger in anticipation. According to Childrensalon, from the time a child is a newborn up to being three years old, they go through seven different sizes. That’s seven sizes in three years. Although children’s garments are a lot smaller and take up less fabric, they have to get a lot more to keep up with their growth spurts. That still carries an environmental impact. How are parents supposed to combat that sustainably?


Sustainable Brands

There are a variety of brands out there for children that specialize in making sustainably, eco-friendly clothing. A great place to start is Good on You. Good on You is a website dedicated to educating people about sustainability and clothing brands. They rate each brand on production standards in areas such as chemical pollution or labor practices. They have a great list of sustainable brands for kids that you can find at the bottom of this post.

Second-Hand Clothing

Not everyone can afford to shop from sustainable brands, as maintaining top-notch materials and labor standards can be expensive. But, an even more eco-friendly and cost-effective way to shop is by buying second-hand clothing. Duck Worth Wearing specializes in making quality, second-hand clothes available for children of all ages. Shopping second-hand keeps clothes out of landfills and in your children’s wardrobes. Kids grow much too fast to worry about buying brand new things for them anyway. You can find great second-hand stores that focus on quality, such as Duck Worth Wearing. And, when your kids grow out of their old clothes, you can make them available for someone else. Read our guide on how to rehome old clothes!

Clothing Rentals

If you’ve ever heard of Nuuly or Rent The Runway you might know about the evergrowing clothing rental services. Did you know that there are places that offer children’s clothes to rent, too? This is an amazing option for things your kids need but won’t need for very long, such as formal wear. Here is a guide by Danielle Alvarado with different clothing rental services for children!

Minimalism/Capsule Wardrobe

Many of us have way too many clothes. Well, so do our children. It’s hard to cut back when there are SO many cute styles for our little ones. But, we have to think critically: how many times is my kid really going to wear that? Do my kids have something similar already? Sometimes the most sustainable thing is to not buy. A capsule wardrobe is a closet curated so that everything can be worn together in a versatile way. It usually only consists of up to thirty items of clothing. You can color coordinate so that everything goes together and focus on quality basics. 

Taking Care of What We Have 

It’s all too common for kids to be rough on their clothes. From food to holes to grass stains, keeping our children’s garments wearable can be tough. But, putting a little extra effort into preserving their clothes can go a long way. That means treating the stains when they’re noticed and getting out the repair kit for the rips and tears that come with a day full of adventures. With a little extra effort, we can extend the lives of clothing and keep them in rotation. It may seem like the easy way out to throw away something with imperfections, even if they can be easily fixed. With the rise of fast fashion, we can get replacements cheaply and quickly, but at what cost?

Reuse Reuse Reuse 

So what happens when clothes are worn beyond repair or resale? Sometimes we are all too quick to throw something away when it can be repurposed. My favorite thing to do with an old textile that has worn out its welcome is to cut it up. Why buy washcloths and rags to dirty when you have perfectly good fabric that could go to waste? Many quilters enjoy turning old t-shirts and clothing memorabilia into quilts and  throws. There are tons of ways to repurpose unusable clothing. All it takes is a quick Pinterest search and some imagination. ;)

Parenting isn’t easy, especially when also burdened with environmental consciousness. Hopefully, this guide has made it a little easier to approach creating a sustainable wardrobe for the special kiddo in your life!

For more information on these topics:

Fashion Industry in Numbers: UNECE

Environmental Sustainability in the Fashion Industry

Childsalon: 10 ways to make your child's wardrobe more sustainable

Full Guide to Sustainable Children’s Clothing

Sustainable Kids’ Clothing: A Guide for Conscious Parents

How to Buy Sustainable Kids Clothing on a Budget

What sustainable fashion can learn from childrenswear


The Ultimate Guide to Ethical and Sustainable Children’s Clothing

How to Sustainably Rehome Your Clothes: Your Guide to Getting Rid of It!

Gabryelle Watkins