Shopping for Children, Can it be Ethical?

A lot of us have been shopping for school clothes or are in the process of thinking through it. Here is my personal process and some general tips to shopping this season!

1). Go through all clothing from last year. Ask…

Does this still fit?

Is it in good enough condition to still wear to school?

2). Sell or donate clothing that doesn’t fit if it’s in good condition if you don’t have a younger sibling to pass them on to.

3). Battle hoarding. We should be conscious of our planet, so if you have a lot of clothing that just needs to be thrown out, consider buying less this year. #buybetternotmore If you do a lot of sewing or craft projects, consider using fabric for those throughout the year. I do want to encourage minimalism, not to overdo it, but to always think about how many outfits your child really needs. Do not buy a top that will only go with one pair of pants. Try to get outfits that can be switched out, changed by adding layers, etc. Less can be more! And give yourself boundaries with shopping. Unsubscribe from brands that send constant sale emails and promotions that are too tempting. I took this step this past spring. Just because there is a good sale doesn’t mean you need to shop! Only receive emails from ethical brands (because they have sales too that make them more affordable!) and limit those to your very favorite brands.

4). Make a list of what your child NEEDS. We have to adjust our expectations. Unfollow those amazing IG accounts if you need to (you know, the families who go shopping every week and you rarely see their child in the same outfit more than once…how do they always look so perfect??). Our kids can be well-dressed in a way that communicates they are loved without going over the top with fashion trends and overbuying. I’ve never been a style-savvy momma (it just doesn’t come naturally), but if you are, be YOU but don’t put unrealistic expectations on your budget.

5). Decide how much you can spend. Know your budget well! I’ve decided we will spend a set amount now, then shop again in October for warmer items.

6). Shop second-hand first. A lot of second-hand clothing stores have items in almost new condition. Tyler just opened a Once Upon a Child and we have CCC sale coming up. I haven’t had a lot of luck with online secondhand shops like Thred-up, Swap, or Poshmark, but I still look every now and then if there’s something specific I need.

7). Look for these items on your favorite ethical brand sites (you will be overloaded with cuteness…prepare mentally to not overbuy =D). Add up how much they would be (don’t forget shipping cost). Check to see if any sales are going on or coming up. Compare sites. If you’re confident in their ethics, it doesn’t matter who you buy from. This decision depends on your budget or if you’re budget isn’t an issue, look at who the money is going towards. Do they also give back? What does their profit go towards? Also, don’t forget handmade, local businesses! I love supporting my community when I can.

8). Buy with confidence! You’ve set a budget, you know what your child needs, you’ve shopped consciously, and are ready to purchase! You can feel good about what your child is wearing and share with them about it too. I wish I had learned about ethical fashion as a child or teen rather than at 28 years old. We’re shaping the future generation!

My Two Favorite Brands

Tea Collection

“We create globally inspired, well-made, beautiful kids clothes for all of life’s adventures, big and small.”

I love the designs and patterns of pretty much all Tea items, girl and boy.  Every Tea purchase also gives back to the Global Fund for Children. Here’s what they have to say about Ethical Sourcing: “We are careful to work only with reputable manufacturers who follow our high standards of responsible labor laws, good working conditions and no child/slave labor. We have a Fair Trade act with all of our manufacturing partners. Each factory, must sign a Workplace Code of Conduct that outlines fair employment practices, facilities safety guidelines and compliance assurance methods. These requirements are documented and reviewed regularly, and we have no tolerance for anything unlawful or even the slightest bit questionable.” They also visit their factories in person on a regular basis and have agents in each country who are their eyes and ears.


“Whether it’s paddling in the sea, splashing through muddy puddles or playing in the park, our clothes are designed to be long lasting and durable – so children can be children!”

Their designs are fun and whimsical! I’ll have a discount code coming for you soon 😉 We have LOVED everything we have purchased from Frugi. Keep in mind exchange rate and international shipping costs when purchasing.

-Global Organic Textile Standard certified company, which means that we adhere to stringent criteria in both our manufacturing and social accountability.

-Soil Association Organic Certified

0-10 years

UK based. Worldwide shipping.

And a new one I found on this list, “Ethical Clothes for Kids We Love” by Muka Kids, which I also discovered is similar to By/Sell/Trade Groups for ethical clothing, but goes even deeper! Follow that link to find out more and join their Facebook Group! Tea Collection is NOT on their list of acceptable brands (most likely because of certification requirements), but I’m excited to discover some new brands and shop used! Here’s a brand from their list that I felt fit our family:

Little Green Radicals 

“Organic fashion for free range kids…. mission to make beautiful things the right way.”

-Certified organic clothing AND fair trade clothing, a solid ethical brand from the UK, whimsical and fun!

-UK based. Worldwide shipping.

For hats and other knit items + adult clothing, shop Krochet Kids! I love what I’ve purchased from them so far.

For simple staples and capsule wardrobes, you might like Wildly Co. For Baby staples (and adults too!), check out PACT. I love my PACT items, and it’s a super generous company!




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