A woman's hands cupping earth which has a new green shoot growing from it

What is Sustainability?

Living More Sustainably

Sustainability refers to the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is about finding a balance between economic growth, social progress, and environmental protection, and ensuring that these three pillars are in harmony with each other.

Sustainability can be approached at various levels, including the individual, community, corporate, national, and global levels. At each of these levels, the goal is to find ways to conserve resources, reduce waste and pollution, and promote sustainable practices that will help to ensure a livable planet for future generations.

Sustainability encompasses a wide range of issues, including energy use, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and social justice. It involves taking a long-term view of human activities and their impact on the planet, and making decisions that promote the health and well-being of both people and the natural world.

At My Little Green Wardrobe we’re starting with a sustainable approach to baby and children’s clothing to help reduce our impact on the planet.

What does ‘sustainable’ children’s clothing mean?

Sustainable children’s clothing is about reducing the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry.

It involves more environmentally-friendly practices - from the design table - to the farmer’s field - to the factory floor.

It protects the environment and workers by prohibiting the use of harmful pesticides, hazardous chemical dyes, toxic heavy metals and aromatic solvents.

It promotes other cleaner processes and the reduction of water usage - especially in areas where water can be scarce.

Alongside environmental aims, ethical fashion brands also seek better conditions for garment workers - including health and safety requirements, a requisite minimum age, and a fair wage.

Sustainable fashion is partly about producing clothes, shoes and accessories in an environmentally and socio-economically sustainable manner, but it is also about establishing more sustainable patterns of consumption and use.  

We want to encourage customers to think carefully before they purchase any new clothes and to extend the lifespan of them by caring for them properly.

Why Choose Sustainable Kids Clothes?

Sustainable kids clothes are clothing items that are made with environmentally friendly materials, and are designed to be durable, long-lasting, and to have minimal impact on the planet. These clothes are typically made from materials such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, or recycled polyester, which are grown and produced using sustainable practices that minimise the use of harmful chemicals and reduce waste.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, the sustainable kids clothes we sell are made with fair labour practices, ensuring that the people who make the clothes are paid fair wages and work in safe and healthy conditions.

Some common features of sustainable kids clothes include:

  • Use of natural, organic or recycled materials: These materials are grown and produced in ways that minimise harm to the environment and reduce waste.
  • Long-lasting and durable design: Sustainable clothes are designed to last longer and be worn more often, reducing the need for frequent replacements.
  • Minimal packaging: Sustainable clothing brands often use minimal or plastic-free packaging, and may encourage customers to reuse or recycle packaging materials.
  • Transparent and ethical production: The sustainable kids clothing brands we sell are transparent about their production practices and prioritise ethical treatment of workers.

By choosing sustainable kids clothes, parents can help reduce their environmental impact and support companies that adhere to ethical and sustainable practices.

Which Materials are the Most Sustainable When it Comes to Kids Clothing?

When it comes to sustainability, there are several factors to consider, including the environmental impact of producing, using, and disposing of a material. However, some materials are generally considered more sustainable than others:

  1. Bamboo: Bamboo is a highly sustainable material due to its rapid growth rate and ability to regenerate without replanting.
  2. Hemp: Hemp is another fast-growing plant that requires little water and no pesticides to grow, making it an eco-friendly alternative to cotton.
  3. Organic cotton: Unlike conventional cotton, which is often grown using pesticides and requires a lot of water, organic cotton is grown without harmful chemicals and uses less water.
  4. Linen: Linen is a natural fiber that is made from flax, which requires less water and fewer pesticides than other crops, making it an eco-friendly option.
  5. Recycled materials: Using recycled materials, such as plastic or paper, can help reduce waste and conserve resources.

Ultimately, the most sustainable materials are those that are renewable, require minimal resources to produce, and have a low impact on the environment throughout their lifecycle.

Are Organic Cotton Baby Clothes More Eco-Friendly?

Baby clothes made from organic cotton are generally considered to be more eco-friendly than conventional cotton because it is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, which can have harmful effects on the environment and the health of farmers and workers.

Additionally, organic cotton is typically grown using more sustainable farming practices, such as crop rotation and natural pest management, which can help to maintain soil health and reduce water usage.

However, it's worth noting that organic cotton still requires a significant amount of water to grow, and the production and transportation of organic cotton products can also have environmental impacts. Therefore, while organic cotton may be a more sustainable choice than conventional cotton, it's important to consider the entire lifecycle of the product and look for additional certifications or labels that indicate a commitment to sustainability.

What is GOTS-certified cotton?

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognised as the world's leading processing standard for fabrics made from organic fibres, eg. cotton or wool. It sets high-level environmental criteria along the entire supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.  

A textile product carrying the GOTS label grade ‘organic’ must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibres, whereas a product with the label grade ‘made with organic’ must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibres.

Most of the clothes sold by My Little Green Wardrobe comply with the higher ‘organic’ label grade.  

Clothes made using GOTS certified material are kind to the planet, animals and people that produced them.

The majority of our brands are either GOTS certified themselves or use materials and manufacturers that are GOTS-certified the whole way through the supply chain.

What is OCS cotton?

OCS stands for Organic Content Standard, which is a certification that verifies the presence and amount of organic material in fabrics. The OCS certificate only applies to fabrics that contain a minimum of 95% organic cotton fibres.

Unlike GOTS, the OCS certificate has no social criteria.

What does GRS-certified mean?

Like GOTS, the Global Recycling Standard (GRS) is a voluntary, third-party certification program that sets standards for the content, quality, and production of recycled materials. 

It was developed by the Textile Exchange, a global nonprofit organisation that promotes sustainable practices in the textile industry.

The GRS aims to encourage the use of recycled materials and increase transparency in the supply chain of recycled products. It requires that recycled materials be verified and tracked throughout the entire supply chain, from the point of origin to the final product. This ensures that the materials are actually recycled, and not just waste that is being repurposed.

The standard also sets requirements for the quality of recycled materials, including restrictions on hazardous substances and other contaminants. It also requires that the production of recycled materials meet certain environmental and social criteria, such as energy and water efficiency, fair labor practices, and the protection of workers' health and safety.

Brands using this certification include Muddy Puddles and Frugi.

What does OEKO-TEX 100 mean?

If a clothing garment carries the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX label, it has been tested for harmful chemicals, heavy metals, toxic dyes, and carcinogens - and certified harmless to both people and the environment.

Why are sustainable kids clothes more expensive?

There are several reasons why sustainable kids clothes tend to be more expensive than traditional clothing:

  1. Higher quality materials: Sustainable kids clothes are made from high-quality, eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, bamboo, and recycled fabrics. These materials are often more expensive to source and produce than traditional synthetic fabrics, which can drive up the cost of sustainable clothing.
  2. Ethical production practices: Sustainable kids clothes are often made under fair labor conditions, which means that workers are paid fair wages and work in safe conditions. These ethical production practices can add to the cost of the clothing.
  3. Limited production runs: Sustainable kids clothes are often produced in smaller quantities, which can make them more expensive to produce. This is because it can be more expensive to produce smaller quantities of clothing than it is to produce larger quantities.
  4. Additional certifications: Sustainable kids clothing may also have additional certifications, such as being certified organic or fair trade, which can add to the cost of the clothing.

Despite the higher cost of sustainable kids clothes, many parents choose to purchase them because they are often made with better materials and ethical production practices, and because they are better for the environment.

Is My Little Green Wardrobe part of the Slow Fashion movement?

Slow fashion is a movement within the fashion industry that emphasises a more sustainable and ethical approach to clothing production and consumption. It is a response to the fast fashion industry, which produces clothing quickly and inexpensively, often at the expense of the environment and the workers involved in the production process.

At My Little Green Wardrobe we encourage shoppers to buy fewer, higher-quality garments that are made to last, rather than purchasing cheap, disposable clothing that may quickly fall apart. We also emphasise the use of sustainable materials and production methods, as well as fair labour practices.

Slow fashion is often associated with small-scale, independent designers and brands that prioritise sustainability and ethics over profit margins. At My Little Green Wardrobe we offer a platform to some of the best sustainable UK brands that are doing just this.

The slow fashion movement encourages consumers to be more mindful about the environmental and social impact of their fashion choices and to consider the long-term value of clothing rather than just the immediate cost.

We hope that you love the clothes you purchase from us, and continue to love them for many years to come...

Is there more than one way to be sustainable, I'm confused... ?

There is not one single way to be sustainable. Sustainability isn’t an end destination, rather it’s a journey that we’re all on. Both consumers and brands are all on different paths of their journey.

At My Little Green Wardrobe we are looking for progression not perfection.

Buying organic cotton is preferable to buying conventional cotton, but buying recycled cotton would be even better.

Options like organic linen and hemp, which use far less water than the notoriously thirsty cotton plant, are likely to be even more sustainable.

Outerwear made from recycled ocean plastic supports marine conservation, which is great news, but recycled polyester is sometimes mixed with other materials making it difficult to recycle again in the future.

There are both positives and negatives with many ‘sustainable’ fabrics - they each leave their own footprint - but going down a more sustainable route will help reduce the overall impact fashion is having on the environment.