One secret to being a more eco friendly mom? Buying sustainable clothes for kids that grow with them!
By Lora O’Brien
Before I had children, I used to daydream about all the stuff I would get for them. I’d get some great eco-friendly toys at Wunderplay. I’d look for the same awesome Dr Seuss books I loved (and lost) as a child. And of course, I’d buy loads of teeny, tiny cute clothes. Wee shoes especially made me swoon!
Fast forward several years. As a mom, not only do I now care more for the planet and the impact all things we purchase have on it, but I’m all about making what we do have last as long as possible.
But that being said, it’s not easy to be an eco-friendly parent. Children grow at a rate that still shocks me. And that means buying more clothes. They can outgrow stuff in a mere matter of months!
But there are ways to make clothes last. You just need to follow a few ethical shopping tips, and to buy sustainable clothes for kids that grow with them, too.
Tips for shopping ethically for children
Thrift: Children really do outgrow clothing before it’s had a chance to be damaged, and a lot of parents will take outgrown clothing to charity shops. I always pop in there to find a few items I love! Plus, it’s a budget-friendly way to shop ethically.
Swap clothes: I know some people already do this, but I think it should become the norm. What better way to get new clothes and share clothes that no longer fit your child than by swapping? Whether it’s shared among friends, family or in a mums group, it’s such a beautiful way to keep your children looking cute without buying excess new stuff they’ll quickly outgrow.
Buy a size bigger: This is my top secret when it comes to buying clothes for my daughter. I prefer her clothes to be on the baggier side anyway. There’s nothing cuter than seeing her snuggled in an oversized sweatshirt! But buying her clothes one or two sizes bigger also means that her clothes last even longer. She’s approaching 3 and still wearing some of the outfits I bought for her over a year ago.
Quality over quantity: I get it, mamas. Dressing children can get pricey. I’ve been lured in by cheap fast-fashion brands before now and my daughter has had blisters from cheap shoes and outfits that have fallen apart after the first few washes. Clothing made from solid, organic materials will always cost more than fast fashion. But it’s true that you really do get what you pay for!
Look for sustainable clothes for kids that grow: Yep, this is a thing! Clever designers have realised they can create clothes for kids that are stretchy, adjustable, and able to grow with children. Think it sounds too good to be true? Read on!
The Best Sustainable Clothes For Kids That Grow With Them
There are some fabulous brands out there really making it easier to shop for ethical clothes for kids that will grow with your little ones. Made from quality materials, they’re designed to grow as your children do. Which means they’ll last longer and stick around long enough to be passed down to future generations. Cool, huh?
Snug Bub are not only making clothes that grow with your children, but also garments that can easily be wiped clean! That means less washing. It’s a mum-miracle!
Made from 100% organic and breathable cotton, their onesies grow easily with little babes thanks to the footed pyjama design. The adjustable and detachable booties and sleeves help to keep them in these from the day they’re born right up to beyond their first birthday. They’re also covered in a non-toxic stain-proof material that can be wiped down.
Snug Bub also caters to toddlers with their range of rompers. Not only do they grow with them thanks to the two sets of buttons that adjust the length to suit growth spurts, but these also have bibs built into them, too.
What we love: This brand really has thought everything through. It was thoughtfully created to grow with your children, from babies, to toddlers. The range is also gender neutral.
OM Baby was created by a woman whose views on clothing changed when she became a mother. I hear that! She wanted to clothe her babies in items that were ethically made from natural fabrics. That inspiration still stands five years later.
Hand-printed in India and handmade in England, all of OM Baby’s childrenswear range is made to order, to ensure they don’t overproduce garments. Working alongside Indian artisans, all natural processes are used to limit their impact on the planet.
What we love: OM Baby products are made with extra space for cloth diapers, but this also gives a little bit of room for growth spurts. Items like the loose harem pant designs have lots of space for little legs to kick and crawl about, but this will also ensure the clothing lasts that little bit longer.
Photo: @leoniefreemanphoto Styled @andtheywear
When we think of clothes designed to grow with children, we kind of just hope and pray that they will last longer than a month. But what if clothing could quite literally grow for years? Well, now it can thanks to the innovative brand, Petit Pli.
Founder Ryan Mario Yasmin is a proud uncle. He gifted clothes to his newborn nephew – only for them to already be too small when they first met! This life lesson showed him just how much childrenswear failed to recognise the rapidly changing bodies of tiny humans.
Inspired by aerospace engineering, Petit Pli’s provide a new and dynamic way to approach garment design. One item is suitable for all growth rates in our children. Yep, these clothes will literally stretch with your children’s growth!
What we love: Using technical materials that are ultra-lightweight, reinforced, rainproof and breathable, Petit Pli aims to clothe the future of humanity. Whether you’re looking to buy trousers, a t-shirt or a romper, the range can be worn by kids from 12 months up to 5 years!
Beya Made was created by mum Laurel who is a self-proclaimed recovering fast fashion designer. She ditched designing clothes for one of America’s best-known baby and toddler brands after realising how disposable children’s clothing is. Today, she designs sustainable clothes for kids that grows with them, and lasts for around 3x longer than typical ranges.
All Beya Made items are made to adjust as your child grows. The eco-friendly brand uses textile waste, transforming it into
What we love: These are gender-neutral heirloom garments for families to treasure.
Whether you’re shopping for boys or girls, sustainability is at the core of this family-owned brand. Hoping to inspire the future generation to repair and reuse instead of adding to the throwaway culture of today, Jackalo makes sustainable clothes for kids that grows with them thanks to efficient cutting practices to reduce the waste generated. And any scrap fabric that is produced is recycled, upcycling the larger scraps where possible.
Every process is thought out from the organic cotton used (much kinder to your baby’s skin), to the use of energy-efficient factories to reduce waste and recycling.
What we love: Jackalo offers a Trade-Up program for when your children really do outgrow their clothing. Swap your old clothes for a discount to be spent on new items. The old clothes are cleaned up, repaired, and then resold for a discount. It’s a perfect circular fashion option, right?
Nine Clothing is a Canadian brand of sustainable clothes for kids that grow with them. Everything is made from durable, high-quality fabric that fits children from ages 0-6.
The Nine Clothing team designs are hand-drawn and printed using non-toxic, eco-friendly inks on GOTS certified organic cotton. This allows parents to show knowing that the clothing is not only better for the planet, but the materials used to make them are kind to their little ones, too.
In the spirit of sustainability, Nine Clothing is a brand that strives to reduce its ecological footprint by providing modern parents with a range of clothing options that are designed to fit children for the different stages of life. Not only will they grow with your children, but they’ll fit comfortably for real life, whether it’s having a cuddle, playing with toys or taking a tap.
What we love: The range is really extensive, and provides lots of options for both genders. The designs are really subtle, so they’re great for mixing and matching. A bonus is that the brand also creates 3-in-1 maternity, nursing and postpartum tops and dresses for women.
kinder capsule is another maker of sustainable clothes for kids that grow with them. It was created when parents Leslie and Eric noticed a common theme in their son’s wardrobe: too many clothes, too little time. Whether the clothing was gifts, hand-me-downs or those guilty mom splurges that we just can’t resist, their son was swamped in clothing. Instead of filling his wardrobe will ill-fitting and poorly made garments, they took it upon themselves to fix the gap in the market.
Their brand was brought to life as an alternative, sustainable and adaptable place for parents to shop for childrenswear. kinder capsule helps to promote a more sustainable wardrobe to cut back on waste. Encouraging conscious consumerism, the brand is paving the way for a legacy of timeless items for the children of today and the generations to come after.
What we love: Everything about kinder capsule was created with our little ones in mind. As parents, the founders of the brand know too well how easy it can be to overload their wardrobe. Using unique folds with a durable fabric, their line of basics really will grow with your children. They even supply online videos to show you how the clothes will grow as your babies do, which I love!
If you think your children outgrow clothing quickly, shoes are on another level! I swear my daughter’s feet grow weekly.
Luckily, GroFive have come up with every parent’s dream: a pair of shoes that grows with them. Yep, eliminating the constant need for new footwear, this brand has created a pair of shoes that will quite literally grow as the feet of your little one does the same.
The sandals can expand up to five sizes, and are adjustable in three areas of the shoe to ensure they provide a customised fit for all different sizes and shaped feet. Forget seasonal – these shoes will last multiple years. And their use of strong materials means they’ll even last as children play in them.
The GroFive Expandals come in several different colours, making them suitable for all genders. They even have an adult range. Sign me up for a pair!
What we love: Though we moan about our children outgrowing shoes, we’re privileged to be able to buy them at all. GroFive was born after one of its founders visited an orphanage in Kenya. The kids were all wearing shoes that were too big or too small. Some even had toes poking out through holes!
There is zero pressure to do so, but when you buy a pair, you’re given the option to donate $15 or $25 to a child living in poverty. This allows the brand to give a disadvantaged child properly fitting footwear of the exact style you’ve bought for your child.