Whether you’ve been invited to a baby shower or your little one has graduated to the next size up, we’re here to make shopping for ethical children’s clothing one less thing to worry about.
We’ve compiled some of our favourite ethical children’s clothing brands, all of which conveniently offer worldwide shipping. Browse these ethical options from the comfort of your pyjamas when the kids are asleep and celebrate their milestones in sustainable style.
Each brand is rated for its impact on the ethical and environmental issues you care about – check the Good On You app for more detail on each brand’s rating.
Frugi stemmed from Cut4Cloth, a project started by new parents who had trouble finding clothing that fit comfortably over their son’s cloth diapers. Now rebranded as Frugi, which means “fruits of the earth” in Latin, this quirky brand carries clothing for baby and mother alike.
The founding couple, Kurt and Lucy, moved their company to an organic farm in Cornwall and the team has won numerous awards for its certified organic cotton creations. If you choose to purchase from Frugi, you’ll also be supporting the company’s current charity picks.
Perfect for babies’ sensitive skin, Earthlings clothing is crafted in certified organic Fairtrade cotton that hasn’t been treated with pesticides, bleach or other chemicals. This family-owned brand focuses on keeping clothing as natural as possible every step of the way and their designs are hand-printed with certified eco-friendly dyes and inks.
Earthlings also ensure producers in India are regularly and independently audited by the Fairtrade Association, and through the company’s work, they’re able to support projects like Zameen Organic. You’ll feel great knowing your little one is napping in a footed playsuit that’s gentle on the skin and good for the environment.
Rated “Good” on the Good On You app, this fair trade brand is produced by Tibetan refugees in the Himalayas of India. Eternal Creation sports admirable credentials; they’re a member of Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand, as well as Fair Trade Forum India. And did we mention it won the 2013 Source Award for Sustainable Children’s Wear? Bravo!
In addition to their positive environmental impact, Eternal Creation says its products are “made in a supportive working environment with fair pay, putting the lives of the tailors first.” You can even meet these tailors online and read their incredible personal stories.
This Australian brand ticks all our boxes! Designed for “spirited little people”, its range is unique, functional and hard wearing. The affordable clothing is made from environmentally friendly organic cotton, and every garment is designed and handmade in Sydney. From its materials and packaging, right down to its energy supplier and banking, Little Emperor is dedicated to environmentally friendly practice.
Named in honour of the adorable Emperor Penguin – every year 5% of their annual profit is donated to the Australian Marine Conservation Society, helping protect the penguins’ home. It’s safe to say we’re loving Little Emperor!
Your kids will be the coolest on the block in Milk and Masuki’s bold pastels and edgy graphics. The family-owned business was founded by two artists hoping to “inject a bit of cool” into baby and kidswear. Their use of Global Organic Textile Standard certified organic cotton is fantastic and they also avoid using animal products in any of their products. However, we would like to see them offer more detailed information about their approach to some key labour rights issues.
Founded by Brooklyn-based creative couple Stefanie Lynen and Todd Warnock, the brand was named by Stefanie as an ode to a childhood business venture in Germany, where she and her sister bottled melted snow and sold it to their parents as Winterwasser or “Winter Water”.
Every piece of clothing is made using 100% certified organic cotton – crafted in the USA, from start to finish. They also use a natural fleece, and while they do not specify their source, no other animal products are used. Winter Water Factory is aiming for continued improvement in their labour, environment, and animal welfare practices.
Big name brand Bonds is a signatory of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, doesn’t use Uzbek cotton in manufacturing and is a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative, all of which are positive steps towards good labour policy. While Bonds don’t use fur, angora, or leather, they also don’t disclose their sources for wool products. Similarly, there is minimal information available about the environmental impact of their production process.
On their site or in stores you’ll find easy, comfortable and affordable kids’ wear for all seasons, however it is important to consider their environmental and animal welfare policies before buying in bulk. We’ve given them the “It’s a Start” rating on the Good On You app.
Purebaby’s vision is to “create beautiful baby clothes without compromising on social responsibility”- just what we’re looking for! The Australian brand was founded by designer and mother Mirabai Winford after her own hunt for affordable, organic and practical children’s clothing left her empty handed.
Their clothing range is mainly made from organic cotton which is safe and gentle on bubba’s skin. They also use some sheepskin, leather, and wool, which is all Australian, however, the exact source is unspecified. Purebaby’s certification by the Global Organic Textile Standard guarantees that certain labour standards are met in the early production phases. The Purebaby blog also offers thoughtful guidance on parenthood, shopping and style.
Founded in Australia as a social enterprise, My Fair Baby sources ethically produced children’s clothing from developing countries and donate their profits to charity organisations in India. The site offers boys’ and girls’ wear, accessories and gift packs. They stock a number of labels and provide comprehensive background information for each so you know all about the brands you are supporting.
It uses no animal products and most of its clothes are made from organic cotton. Many of its products are Fairtrade certified, and where they don’t offer certification, it is acknowledged that the manufacturing facility follows fair trade practices.
This article was updated on 13 September 2016 by contributor Camille Soulos-Ramsay.
What’s your favourite ethical children’s clothing brand? Let us know in the comments!
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Julia McAlpine is a freelance copywriter and editor born in sunny California and based in equally sunny Sydney. She can’t pass a bookstore without browsing, and drinks far more coffee than the recommended daily intake. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram as @inkandmoon or visit her site at www.inkandmoon.com
EDITORS NOTE: Good On You did not receive any compensation for recommending these brands. Ratings are correct at time of publication.
Images are via the brands featured.