Kids & Company Blog

Savvy Sustainable Shopping for the Sub-zero Season

Now that the colder temperatures are upon us, it’s time to determine what items your children will need to keep warm in our great outdoors this winter. Why not save money and help the environment by embracing the newest trend: Circular fashion. 

Before we start, let’s give a shout-out to those parents who had winter babies: Squeezing those tiny, newborn limbs into a snowsuit to go outside was a bit like Whac-A-Mole, wasn’t it? And don’t get us started on having to drive somewhere: Bundling our babes up and using our bodies to shield them from the elements to get them to the car (which had to be preheated, of course), getting them strapped into their carseats (a challenging task for any new mom at the best of times) and crawling into the backseat to wrestle them back into the aforementioned outerwear before exiting the vehicle for the less-than-two minutes we would actually spend outside.... Is it any wonder many of us chose to hibernate? 

Winter clothes offer a unique set of issues: items can be bulky, itchy, and, if they don’t fit perfectly, difficult for children to move around in. But for most of us, Jack Frost will be here sooner rather than later, so we might as well be prepared and restock our family’s winter wardrobe essentials.

One trend that never goes out of style is being eco-friendly. Circular fashion, aka sustainable or eco-friendly fashion, is an approach that aims to reduce its environmental impact and promote more sustainable and ethical practices throughout the entire lifecycle of a garment through several key principles and practices:

  • Higher-quality (and therefore longer-lasting) materials (including organic cotton, recycled fabrics and innovative materials made from renewable resources)
  • Lowering the carbon footprint from the textile industry (ie. water, chemicals and the waste left behind from unused clothing)
  • Reducing toxic materials, reducing health concerns and skin irritations
  • Reusing/recycling clothing by altering, repairing, donating and upcycling clothing
  • Supporting ethical labour practices, ensuring safe working conditions, fair wages, and transparency in the supply chain.
  • Supporting local businesses and building a sense of community
  • Educating others (including your children) about the importance of making responsible choices
  • Minimizing waste throughout the production process, including efficient pattern making and responsible sourcing of materials.
  • Using clothing rental services and the buying and selling of second hand garments helps reduce the environmental impact of fashion.
  • Encouraging collaboration across the fashion industry, from designers and manufacturers to consumers and policymakers, to drive innovation and positive change

Supporting independent retailers that are committed to sustainable kids clothing is a great place to start. Not only will you be helping an entrepreneur stay in business, usually, local store owners can vouch for where their items are sourced, and are familiar with the different materials and sizing, which can ensure you make a good investment. 

Some organic and/or sustainably responsible children’s clothing stores that ship across Canada and the US include:

PRO TIP: We’re not going to lie, sometimes the smaller shops can’t compete price-wise with the larger retail chains. Plan ahead by shopping for sale items for next season and sign up for company newsletters: You’ll learn about upcoming sales and most will offer a discount for your first purchase when you join their mailing list.

Consignment and thrift stores are another way to take a step toward ensuring a more sustainable future for our families. Some parents shy away from second-hand children’s clothing but with these tips, you may surprise yourself -- and even your fussiest fashionista:

  • As always, make a list and a budget so you don’t get distracted.
  • Most thrift stores help shoppers by placing on-trend or seasonal clothing in a special section near the entrance.  
  • Many thrift stores offer discounts and special sales on certain days of the week. Call ahead or check their website or social media pages to find out when these promotions are happening.
  • Most outdoor gear has already been put through the test by shop employees but double check zippers and pockets on jackets and snow pants, and thoroughly check boots for holes or cracks. Sleeve cuffs and necklines are a common spot for staining. Rips are typically found at the knees and tush area of pants and pajamas.
  • It’s never too soon to plan for next season: Spring is right around the corner so keep an eye out for rain boots and waterproof jackets, and check out the sale section for bathing suits -- Summer can’t come too quickly for some of us!
  • Don’t forget the layers: long-sleeve tees, hoodies and leggings don’t really need to be on trend since they usually get covered up. 
  • Thrifting doesn’t mean you have to cut corners on quality. Make sure the materials aren’t cheap because that usually means they will be uncomfortable and/or won’t last.
  • Know your fabrics: Consider tweed and wool as an alternative to the classic waterproof parka, especially if you have more than one child (or friends/family you can hand it down to). Cotton is always a reliable choice. (Try to avoid synthetics.)
  • Check the other aisles for gently used outdoor winter toys like toboggans and sports equipment like skis and skates. 
  • Don’t forget to bring your donations, too. Many stores will offer you a gift card or discount for your gently used items, and you’ll be helping other parents.
  • Get crafty and find items that can use your creative flare to give them a fresh look. 
  • Remember to ask about the stores’ return policy in case something doesn’t fit or you change your mind. (Most offer a store credit if the tags are still on the item.)

PRO TIPS: As always, safety comes first. Use this list from the Government of Canada to learn what products are banned and ensure other items like cribs and sports equipment meet regulatory requirements. In the U.S., you can search for unsafe products at

There are second-hand stores located all across Canada and the U.S., and we’re willing to bet you’ll be hooked on thrifting before the first snowflakes arrive. 

One final trend: Hosting a clothing swap, aka CLOSWAP. Not only are these kinds of parties a sustainable and eco-friendly way to clothe your babes, it’s also an environmentally responsible social activity that can bring people together. (And who’s to say parent’s can’t use the opportunity to update their wardrobes, too...!) 

Overall, shopping for sustainable kids' clothing is a way to align your values with your purchasing decisions, reduce your environmental impact, and promote healthier, safer, and more ethical options for your children. Embracing circular fashion is a small but meaningful step toward a more sustainable future for the planet and the generations to come.

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