As summer begins to wind down, students are thinking of heading back to the classroom. An important and exciting way to kickstart the new school year is building back to school shopping lists. Today, students have more options than ever when it comes to school supplies and the variety continues to grow each year. Students can get a head start on learning this year by making it a mission to pick out more sustainable school supplies. From more eco-friendly crayons to organic cotton clothing, the spectrum of more environmentally conscious school products is nearly endless.
Sustainable clothing brands:
Mightly was founded by a mom looking for durable, comfortable and environmentally friendly clothing for her active elementary school aged daughter. Sustainability stands at the core of Mightly and all of the company’s clothing is Organic and Fair Trade Certified in a completely transparent supply chain. Meaning, Mightly knows their factories, suppliers and where their cotton is grown. They even take it a step further and all Mightly products are Global Organic Textile Standard certified, which ensures that the cotton used in Mightly clothing is truly organic and that each step in the manufacturing process is compliant with environmental and safety standards. The company uses cotton from Chetna Organic Farmers Association, which is a farmer-owned nonprofit that works to make small farms sustainable and profitable. The company’s wide-range of products for children now includes colorful face masks.
Short John Pajamas in Organic Cotton: $15.99 – $33
A fresh set of pajamas can round out the back to school shopping list. Short John’s set is safe for children with even the most sensitive skin and uses organic cotton with water-soluble dyes without using harmful chemicals. The brand guarantees through its high-quality clothing-making process that each item can be handed down and withstand many washes without fading, fraying or pilling.
Giving clothes a new home:
With the start of a new school year, comes a new wardrobe for growing students. Gently used clothes can find a second home through hand-me-downs or location donation programs. Encourage your students to swap out their outgrown items for pre-loved staples for back to school or make a concerted effort to purchase more eco-friendly pieces of clothing.
Kidizen is an online resale site specifically designed for kid’s fashion that many clothing companies partner with for their re-wear programs. The site has a wide range of options for students to pick from, including costumes great for Halloween or dress up. If you prefer to try before you buy, you can visit your local consignment store or try Stitch Fix’s back to school line, which personalizes your online thrifting experience and lets your child try on clothing for free and send items back until you’re satisfied. You can also find great deals on secondhand clothing, sneakers, backpacks, and school supplies at Poshmark’s back to school marketplace.
Upcycling and giving new life to items:
Students can practice lessons learned both inside and outside of the classroom by reducing, reusing and recycling. Vintage items are trendy and are a great way to extend the life out of pre-worn clothing. For clothing that is torn or has seen better days, repurposing items into rags or crafting smocks is a great way to make clothing last longer while doing your part to decrease waste.
Other ways to extend the life of clothing include washing items in cold water, air drying and using dye and chemical-free detergents to preserve the color of items.