The Best Sustainable Back-to-School Clothing for Kids That's Easy On Your Wallet & The Planet

·5 min read

With how quickly kids outgrow clothes, it can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle to make their fashion choices a little more eco-friendly. It’s easier to buy from fast fashion, knowing that your kid might grow out of that shirt, pair of shorts or jeans within a year, but as the IPCC’s climate report showed, everyone could do a bit more. Ultimately, corporations need to make large-scale changes in order to help cut emissions and keep the planet from warming quickly, but when you’re shopping, you can reward companies that are trying to make a difference vs. ones that just want profit.

We did some digging and found some sustainable kids clothing options. There are companies out there creating high-quality organic clothing that’s built to last and be handed down to siblings or friends or donated. The clothes are more classic and less trendy, so they’ll never go out of style. The brands are also cognizant that most parents shop online, so they’ve made efforts to reduce packaging waste or go totally recyclable.

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Scroll down to read about five companies that have eco-friendly (and adorable) back-to-school clothes that your kids will love. I dug through websites to find their sustainability stats and for a few adorable pieces from their lines that you can shop right now for back-to-school, from clothes made to weather multiple seasons to activewear they can wear during after-school sports, there’s something for everyone. Most of the clothing below is made out of organic cotton, which your kids will prefer anyways, as it’s gentler on their delicate skin.

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Athleta Girl

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Athleta Girl has given itself lofty sustainability goals that other brands should take note of. Currently, the certified B Corp repurposes 290 million+ plastic water bottles into their recycled fabrics and 100 percent of their shopping bags are made from recycled materials.

Image: Athleta Girl. - Credit: Image: Athleta Girl.
Image: Athleta Girl. - Credit: Image: Athleta Girl.

Image: Athleta Girl.

This empowering feminist t-shirt was designed by Melissa Koby as part of Athleta Girl’s Amplify Artist Series, which aims to lift the voices of BIPOC. The shirt is made out of organic cotton and is built to last. 100 percent of the proceeds are being donated to the cause of Koby’s choosing. There are two other designs to browse as well.

Athleta Girl Daily Graphic Artist Tee

$28


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Athleta Girl Printed Record Breaker 3" Short
Athleta Girl Printed Record Breaker 3" Short

Image: Athleta Girl.

If your child is in after-school sports, these Record Breaker shorts are the inspiration she needs. These shorts come in four different patterns she’ll love and also boast a pocket for essentials.

Athleta Girl Printed Record Breaker 3

$36


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H&M

The retailer has made a concerted effort to be more eco-friendly. These two pieces below are a part of their “Conscious” section, which means that 50 percent of the item is made from organic cotton, recycled polyester or other sustainable materials.

Image: H&M. - Credit: Image: H&M.
Image: H&M. - Credit: Image: H&M.

Image: H&M.

These cotton turtlenecks are too cute and perfect for fall. You get a beige-pink turtleneck and brown turtleneck in this two-pack. The turtlenecks come in toddler sizes and go all the way up to size 8-10.

2-pack Turtleneck Tops

$24.99


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Image: H&M. - Credit: Image: H&M.
Image: H&M. - Credit: Image: H&M.

Image: H&M.

These skinny pants are perfect for fall and winter. They’re a little more dressed up than jeans, but they boast a soft and comfortable design. The waistband is elasticized, so it won’t dig into your little one’s hips.

Skinny Fit Super Soft Pants

$19.99


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Hanna Andersson

When she founded Hanna Andersson in 1983, Swedish mother Gun Denhart had sustainability in mind. She intended to create high-quality clothes that would be loved and handed down, so she was anti-fast fashion before fast fashion really became our way of life. Also, many Hanna Andersson clothing items are creating with organic cotton, one of the most sustainable fabrics.

Image: Hanna Andersson. - Credit: Image: Hanna Andersson.
Image: Hanna Andersson. - Credit: Image: Hanna Andersson.

Image: Hanna Andersson.

This is the best first-day-of-school dress we’ve ever seen. This cute fruit print will look great in school pictures, and you can shop it in four other precious patterns too.

Print Rib Knit Dress

$33.60


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Image: Hanna Andersson. - Credit: Image: Hanna Andersson.
Image: Hanna Andersson. - Credit: Image: Hanna Andersson.

Image: Hanna Andersson.

Your kid can show off his love of space with this cool graphic t-shirt. It’s made out of comfy cotton jersey, so it’s sure to be one of his school staples.

Graphic Tee In Cotton Jersey

$19


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Primary

Primary is one of the most sustainable kids clothing brands out there. They don’t use non-certified viscose, modal and rayon fabrics in any clothing and prioritize organic cotton. When synthetic fabrics need to be used in swimwear and coats, Primary finds sustainable options. They also started using compostable packing, instead of plastic.

Image: Primary. - Credit: Image: Primary.
Image: Primary. - Credit: Image: Primary.

Image: Primary.

Your kid will be comfortable all day long in this lightweight cotton sweatshirt. This hoodie comes in five different colors and is available in sizes 2 to 10.

T-shirt hoodie in stripe

$22


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Image: Primary. - Credit: Image: Primary.
Image: Primary. - Credit: Image: Primary.

Image: Primary.

This navy and rainbow stripe t-shirt is so joyful and vibrant. It can essentially be worn year-round (with the exception of the hotter summer months). It’s available in sizes 1-10.

Long sleeve legging tee in rainbow stripe

$19.50


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Pact

This environmentally-friendly clothing company only makes clothes out of organic cotton. The packaging is post-consumer recycled paper and cardboard, which is 100 percent recyclable. When you order, you can check the carbon footprint that the order created and find out options for offsetting it yourself.

Image: Pact. - Credit: Image: Pact.
Image: Pact. - Credit: Image: Pact.

Image: Pact.

These cargo pants are a nice alternative to jeans. There’s even a sustainability stat included on the description of the pants: “91% less water used than conventional cotton.”

Half-Pint Woven Cargo Pant

$31


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Image: Pact. - Credit: Image: Pact.
Image: Pact. - Credit: Image: Pact.

Image: Pact.

Your child can twirl, play, sit and learn in this organic cotton skirt all day long. This skirt is made out of organic cotton, which saved 19.7 gallons of water.

Twirly Pocket Skirt

$21


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Check out these toys that’ll keep kids off screens:

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