As the first day of school approaches for many students, parents are scrambling to stock up on wardrobe staples and other school gear for kids. And, for many families, shopping for sustainably-made items is a priority. However, knowing where to shop for eco-friendly kids items can be a challenge. From shoes to backpacks to all the basic clothing items kids wear each day, it can feel like a scavenger hunt tracking down sustainable brands. It’s also helpful to know which brands are durable enough to stand up to the beating kids give them throughout the school year. The following list includes back-to-school staples that are durable, stylish, and eco-friendly.
Recycled Backpack 15″ by Ten Little, $44
A new school year often means a new backpack and this Recycled 15” Backpack by Ten Little is made with 100% recycled textile that’s Oeko-Tex certified non-toxic. The backpack is lined with waterproof fabric that’s easy to clean and includes a padded pocket for a laptop. Cushioned straps and an ergonomic fit are ideal for little shoulders — this backpack is suited for kids ages 5 to 7. Ten Little has a 12” backpack for younger children.
Charley Sugarlite™ Child by Native Shoes, $35
Schools seem to start earlier and earlier each year with many students back at their desks in August or even late July. Stocking up on a pair of durable sandals is a must for hot climates. These Charley Sugarlite™ Child Sandals by Native Shoes are as comfortable as they are tough. They are made from sugar resin and incredibly lightweight. Native Shoes is working to recycle 100% of their shoes at end-of-use by 2023 and using their recycled shoes to build playgrounds for children. With a simple but functional design, they work well for school — but if your school requires a closed-toe option instead, the brand has many other warm weather-friendly offerings that also stand up well to kids’ play.
Kids Bo Shorts by Alex Crane, $55
In most climates, shorts remain in rotation for at least the first couple months of school and a couple of fresh pairs is always a good idea for growing kids. These Kids Bo Shorts by Alex Crane are made from sustainably-grown French linen and dyed with organic pigments then washed with biodegradable enzymes to soften the fabric so they’re ready to wear. Available in three colors and sizes that’ll fit kids ages 6 months to 10 years, these shorts are a great one stop shop for the whole family — and available in adult sizes, too!
Everyday Jogger and Everyday Hoodie by Pact, $30 and $40
Athleisure is still on-trend, which is great news for parents trying to keep kids comfy both at school and at home. This Everyday Hoodie and Everyday Jogger by Pact comes in four color and pattern options that mix and match well and could be the perfect staples for any child’s back-to-school wardrobe. Made from 100% organic cotton that’s soft to the touch, the fabric is more durable than leggings but still lightweight enough for daily wear on the playground and in the classroom. By using organic cotton, Pact saves water and spares the environment and your children from unnecessary pesticides. Pact also uses fair trade factories to ensure ethical production practices.
Lunch Tote Bag by PlanetBox, $39.95
PlanetBox makes lunch totes for kids out of recycled materials. The bags come in five styles including space, dinosaur, and rainbow themes as well as simpler prints. Parents who are already a fan of the stainless steel lunch containers from PlanetBox will appreciate that the bags are compatible with the company’s other products and can also hold cool packs and a water bottle and have water resistant interiors.