Babies, Children, Families, Teenagers, Whole Family

6 Places to Buy Ethical Kids Clothes in 2019

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Something I get HEAPS of emails about is where to buy ethical kids clothes.

I started putting an ethical kids clothing directory together a couple of years ago, and the task quickly became out of hand for this one-woman band. It turns out there are a TON of organic baby clothes companies out there. It quickly became apparent that pretty much every other baby clothes company is organic, and whilst that is great, it soon became a very laborious and torturous task trying to index these rapidly multiplying shops. What I will say is that if you are thinking about going into business making and selling organic babywear then stop right there and consider making older kids clothing instead, where there is a massive gap in the market.

That directory is still languishing in my drafts, and rather than try to go back to it, I thought I’d round up some of my favourite places to buy ethical kids clothes. And there are still some organic babywear options below, I just haven’t gone overboard with them.

My kids are aged 3 and 7 so we haven’t had to navigate the teenage years yet, but I’ll share as many tips as I can to cover dressing babies, toddlers, kids, and teenagers ethically.

where to shop for ethical kids clothes

1. eBay

eBay is one of my all-time favourites for ethical kids clothing. There’s nothing more ethical than secondhand clothing, so eBay is brilliant if you want to shop ethically but on a tight budget.

eBay is also a great place to stock up on clothes for older kids and teenagers too – just make sure you click the used filter at the side.

One thing I particularly love eBay for is the fact that parents sell bundles of clothes that their kid has grown out of. Just search, for example, “girls bundle age 3 4” and you can find hundreds and hundreds of bundles of clothing. Here you can pick up practically everything your kid will need in one parcel for very little.

If you really want to get the most for your money then my top eBay thrifty trick is to stock up on winter wear in the summertime, when fewer people are searching and bidding on winter wear. And likewise, searching for summer gear in winter is a superb way to grab some great bargains. I’ve also got lots of eBay tips this way.

2. Charity Shops

My other favourite place to shop ethically for kids is in charity shops. I’m really lucky to have a Barnados charity shop near me that exclusively sells kids wear and gear. I’ve come out of there with a pile of fantastic clothes for my kids and spent little over £10.

If the charity shops near you don’t cater much for kids then Oxfam Online is a super place to shop for secondhand ethical kids clothes online, in sizes ranging from birth to age 16.

Delivery is a flat fee of £3.95, no matter how many items you buy, and they also offer free returns making Oxfam Online a hassle way to shop for ethical kids clothes.

3. Frugi

frugi kids ethical clothing

Frugi is a great stop if you are looking to buy some new ethical pieces. Catering for babies and kids up to age 10, Frugi’s bright and colourful clothes are made from organic and ethically sourced cotton.

All their outwear is made from recycled plastic bottles, which is great, but you may want to buy a Guppyfriend for washing, as these types of materials do release microfibres when washed.

Offering free delivery and an easy returns policy, it’s an easy way to shop from home.

4. Toby Tiger

toby tiger ethical kids clothes

Toby Tiger is another ethical kids online shop that’s big on colour. Their ethical and GOTS certified organic cotton kidswear, which I really appreciate not being labelled as for girls or for boys, is for kids aged up to six years old.

5. Etsy

organic kids tshirts

If you’re looking to shop directly from independent makers then Etsy is the place for you. Here you’ll find great ethical kidswear from makers like Wiltshire based Lost Shapes. Lost Shapes sell colourful kids organic, environmentally friendly and fairly traded t-shirts and jumpers, in sizes up to age 14, and starting from just £8.

6. Tootsa

tootsa ethical kids clothes

Finally, Tootsa (formerly known as Tootsa MacGinty) is a wonderful online shop selling ethical and largely unisex knitwear and other kids clothes in baby to age 10. And Tootsa even does a small adult line if you want to twin with your kids…!

Years ago I bought two jumpers for my eldest – which have since been handed down to my youngest, and these are still going strong, and still looking like new.

If your piece isn’t faring so well, then Tootsa offers a repair service where they’ll do their best to find a solution to keep your favourite Tootsa clothes going for longer. They’ll send you buttons, trims, patches and cover the cost of replacing a zipper if needs be. Failing all of that, you can send your old Tootsa clothes back to them in exchange for a discount off your next order.

Tootsa does fantastic sales, periodically (right now there’s 70% off until the end of today). It’s a good idea to sign up to their mailing list or follow on social media to keep updated.

I hope this is helpful in your search for places to buy ethical kids clothes! Have I missed any of your favourites?

weekend links

Ten Things

winter blog reading

Hello! Are you keeping cosy in this cold weather? We’ve had snow and ice and all sorts, so I’ve been spending some time in front of the fire this week researching my family tree.

It’s been so fascinating. I knew that some of my family were miners, but it turns out I’m from a really long line of coal miners, which is somewhat funny given that I’m an advocate for keeping the stuff in the ground! I wonder what all of these many mining ancestors would make of the world today.

This week’s links:

1.The EU is proposing a ban on 90% of micro-plastic pollutants. It is “unknown for now” whether the measure would apply in the UK after Brexit.

The draft law targets microplastics that are not necessary but have been added to products by manufacturers for convenience or profit, and would target cosmetics, detergents, paints, polish and coatings, as well as products in the construction, agriculture and fossil fuels sectors.

2. Did you know there are over 400 free Ivy League University short courses that anyone, anywhere in the world, regardless of educational background, can study online for free, most of them at your own pace?

I’ve had a scan through the full list and the ones most aligned with sustainability are: The Ethics of Eating (Cornell University); The Age of Sustainable Development (Columbia University); The Health Effects of Climate Change (Harvard University); Backyard Meteorology: The Science of Weather (Harvard University); Shark Conservation (Cornell and Queensland Universities); The Climate-Energy Challenge (Harvard); Introduction to Environmental Science (Dartmouth University); and Feeding the World (Pennsylvania University).

All fascinating stuff! I’m thinking about the shark one, or the ethics of eating. If you study a course, do let me know – I’d love to hear your experiences.

3. We need a new lexicon.

In an epic feat of brand mismanagement, the climatologists who first began ringing the alarm that Earth was on a crash course for inhospitality called the situation “global warming.” That remains accurate, on a planetary scale: 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, based on global annual temperatures… But that term, “global warming,” is too easily misconstrued, too easily manipulated by bad-faith actors like US president Donald Trump,
who point to cold weather events or rainstorms and say “how could Earth be turning hot and dry when it’s colder and raining more than ever?

4. Plastic or paper – which type of bag is greener?

5. What happened when an entire village went almost waste-free. It really shows you what can happen when a community comes together to work towards a shared goal.

6. Beyonce encourages her fans to go vegan by offering free concert tickets for life in return for committing to eating more vegan meals.

7. The biggest climate victories of 2018.

8. This is American based but it’s a great example of what happens when you campaign on climate action and win.

9. Carbon capture to fight climate change is dividing environmentalists.

10. Finally, this was a good read from Grist on where to move to in order to escape climate change.

Spoiler: “the future isn’t for sure, but running away from the problem ensures that it will be“.

That’s it for this week’s Ten Things. Whatever you do today, keep warm!


ps: Moral Fibres is always free to read, and always will be, but if you want to help support running costs I’ve set up an account on ko-fi, where you can donate an amount similar to a cup of coffee if you wish.