. . . Continued from Part 4.
Here comes the fun part! . . . perusing all these wonderful companies and their offerings!
For the past few years our family has been trying fill our wardrobe with more organic options, not only to take good care of our own bodies, but also to bless those who make our clothing and the earth as well. It can take a lot of time to sift through all the organic and fair-trade companies out there, and some pieces we’ve bought haven’t held up well over time. We wanted to share our successes to make your search for ethical clothing easier!
Undershirts: We’ve not yet invested in organic undershirts, but I’m impressed by the ones made by PACT. It’s hard to find organic options for a reasonable price, and theirs are only $15 per shirt.
Another company we love is econscious. Their regular cotton t-shirts (not the fashion ones) could serve as undershirts, as my husband has found they fit a size down. They have a great selection of colors and are made of durable cotton – I used a women’s t-shirt for a sleep shirt each night for several years before it wore out. Best of all, you can often find items for sale on Amazon or The Deal Rack for less than the sale prices on the actual website! In general, econscious is a great place for well-made, affordable basics like shirts and hoodies. I also want to check out their organic grocery bags – we’re in the market for some!
Socks: The plain ol’ Hanes crew socks were staples in my husband’s sock drawer when we got married, but I have a feeling Maggie’s Organics socks will be in there more now. They are naturally colored and not dyed (read: the soles of your feet have more pores, so they soak up whatever is woven into the sock fabric!). Another plus: they’re super cushy and comfortable for days when you’re on your feet for a long time.
Pants: While we haven’t been able to find a lot of organic pants yet for a good deal, one company that I’m excited about is Aventura. Their men’s line, Ecoths, has some GREAT rugged, mix-and-match options for both shirts and pants. We were able to buy a pair of ECoths shorts at 6pm.com, and then when they wear out, there will be enough fabric left to transform into something else!
A tip: A lot of these brands can be found on Amazon, so if you want to save money on shipping and handling and gas for transport, you can buy all of what you need at one time!
I’ll go by brand this time here.
Aventura: Not everything here is my style, but I love that the company has a sustainable line with organic or partly-organic clothing. Some great basic pieces here. They usually have some great options on sale at all times, too!
H &M: While they are still honing their ethics, I will say I really appreciate H&M for their “Conscious” clothing line. Some of it is 100% organic, some is made from recycled polyester, other pieces are made from Lyocell (Tencel). They’ve got great basic pieces for an affordable price, and it’s been such a blessing to get organic maternity pieces there in the past without paying an arm and a leg!
Mata Traders is a wonderful company. BEAUTIFUL patterned clothing, and they treat the women who work for them with fairness. They also have a gorgeous jewelry line. I’ve gotten so many compliments about a dress that I got there. The cap sleeves and smocked empire waist make the dress really flattering and comfortable . . . and also great for the first few months of pregnancy if you need!
JoSa: Warm leg wear is a must-have for our cold winters, but it is SO hard to find leggings or tights that are not made without nylon! JoSa specializes in quality hosiery for both women and children. Organic tights made with only 2% lycra? Check! And organic MATERNITY tights as well! – so hard to find!!
PACT: This is another place to look if you want to buy organic leggings or tights. They have a great selection of undergarments and basic layering pieces, too.
Prana: Love, love, love Prana. Not the most affordable, but if you’re looking for earthy clothing to hit the road for an adventure, this is the spot to shop; the word “prana” means “breath,” or “life-giving force” in Hindi, and their clothing does indeed give back life to the earth. They’ve recently made a commitment to use organic more when their clothing contains cotton, and their fair-trade policy is solid. Again, we’ve gotten most of our Prana clothing from 6pm.com, the discount site.
Patagonia: This is the maven of fair-trade, outdoor technical gear. If you’re looking for a Winter coat, there are some responsibly-sourced down feather pieces here. Amazing selection, and their “Web Specials” clearance section always has a great variety of choices.
If we can afford organic at the time, this is where we focus our money, knowing that whatever is woven into the fabric can get into our kiddoes’ delicate, developing bodies. And fortunately, there are more and more options to choose from these days!
Clothing: Burts Bees, H&M, Hope and Henry, and Kite Clothing are staples around here.
Did you know that Burts’ Bees, the well-known body care company, also has a clothing line for babies and young children? That’s right! We particularly like their footed baby sleepers, as they are staples around here for the first few months of life; we also love that they’re not treated with any flame retardants! Although the material can sometime be a little thin, they come at an affordable price, and their prints are adorable. If you’re looking for a place to get some gifts for a baby shower, this would be a great site to go! They also have organic receiving blankets, matching family PJs, and other fun products!
H&M: Affordable basics. So fun that we can get matching clothes for our kids here. A great place to shop for gifts for baby showers, too. A note of caution, though: Not all their “Conscious” clothing is 100% cotton, so ensure that it is on the tag before purchase if that is a concern for you. Also, their cotton is not GOTS certified (more on this in another post!).
Hope and Henry: Where have you been all my life, Hope and Henry?! We first found this company when pursuing organic clothing on Amazon. Basic t-shirts are a cinch to find compared to dress clothes like sweaters or khakis. But Hope and Henry has filled this gap; they offer a selection of basic, well-made clothing that is great for a church morning or family picture. When we get Amazon gift cards, stocking up on Hope and Henry clothing is definitely on the list now. While their sweaters and pants aren’t as cheap as Walmart, they have worn like they will last a long time . . . that, and it is like pulling teeth to find 100% organic sweaters and durable pants!
Kite: This UK-based clothing company is SO fun! The pounds to dollars conversion can definitely get your bank account! But if you shop the sales, you can get some clothing with whimsical designs and colors for a GREAT deal. I’ve also been impressed by their workmanship. This is some durable clothing here. Solid stitching, coconut buttons, reinforced knees. All the bells and whistles!
PJs: One of the first things we learned about when reliving into the world of non-toxic products was flame retardants. Totally understand why parents would want these substances woven into their child’s sleepwear. But this stuff is SO, SO harmful to the body! Carters’ PJS just weren’t cutting it any more, so we started to look other places. Thankfully, we found Hanna Andersson, a quality clothing company with Swedish roots. Not all their clothing is organic (but a lot of is is GOTS-certified, a huge plus!), but their pajamas are. Their pajamas have held up to daily use (even hand-me-down); their zippers are well-stitched in, and their fabric is thicker than Burts’ Bees. We’ve gotten some organic pajamas on Zulily.com, but they just haven’t held up as well as our Hannas!
Swimwear: Since swimwear has to be waterproof, it’s hard to find eco-friendly options. The closest we’ve been able to find is Hanna Andersson (again!). Though not organic, at least their swim trunks are GOTS-certified. Lots of fun prints and colors, too!
Underwear: Hanna Andersson also makes organic cotton unders for boys. We haven’t invested in any yet, but we do have some organic Burts’ Bees boxers. They’ve held up extremely well and we’ll be able to pass them down to the next child in line!
I hope all the above information helps save you some time as you pursue online options! Again, there are some great discount sites online, too, where you can get the above brands – 6pm.com, Sierra Trading Post, Backcountry.com, and The Deal Rack.com are all great companies. Blessings on your journey!