Finding clothing items for kids that are made with sustainable materials can be challenging. Keeping in mind that my kids outgrow their clothes and shoes in the blink of an eye means that I sometimes have to get creative with where I buy my kids clothing from. Not every big box store carries kids brands that cater to an eco-friendly lifestyle, but luckily one of my favorite shoe brands, Sperry, has recently launched a line of kids shoes made from recycled plastic.
Sperry's new kids line is called BIONIC and each shoe in the collection is made from plastic harvested from the bottom of the ocean. If that's not the epitome of up-cycling, I'm not sure what is. Trash from the depths of the sea turned into adorable shoes that my kids are probably going to outgrow in 9.2 seconds is a purchase I can really feel good about. The durable BIONIC material is designed with the same iconic look that Sperry is known for, so not only will your kids be wearing something that is good for the environment, but they'll look fabulous too.
According to the Sperry website, "Each pair of [adult] Sperry BIONIC shoes is woven from, on average, five recycled plastic bottles." These shoes are a stylish way to remove trash from the ocean, keep it out of landfills, and keep the entire family looking great. Did I mention there are also adult versions? Because there are and they're amazing.
Seriously, how cute are those? But if you're looking for more sustainable choices, Sperry isn't the only fashion brand making waves with eco-friendly kids products. Shoe brand Rothy's also carries a plethora of kids shoes that are eco-friendly and oh so adorable. Also made from recycled plastic bottles, Rothy's are durable shoes that are made to get messy — each pair is machine washable, which is an absolute must for parents of little ones. From sneakers to loafers, Rothy's kids shoes offer fun prints and patterns that kids will love while helping to keep plastic out of the ocean.
Another great product line that offers kids clothing made from recycled plastic is Flap Happy. Known for their kids sun hats that work to keep babies' heads well-protected from the sun with built-in SPF, Flap Baby now offers kids swimwear products made from REPREVE fibers. According to their website, products using REPREVE fibers have recycled more than 14 billion plastic bottles to date, making items made from this fiber a great way to contribute to a sustainable planet. Flap Happy's adorable flap hats, swimsuits, and rash guards for kids are a great choice for parents wanting to purchase eco-friendly kid products.
In addition to buying sustainably-sourced kids products, another way for parents to keep their carbon footprint low is by borrowing children's clothing for special occasions. When I think of all of the special occasion dresses I wore as a kid to weddings, banquets, and class picture days over the years, the accumulation of so many one-time-wear outfits seems wasteful. With Rent The Runway now offering clothing to borrow for only a small fee, parents can dress their kids in style without breaking the bank and without creating any waste.
Shopping in online re-sale groups or at secondhand stores for kid clothing is another way to make sure that people don't dump their unwanted kids clothes into a landfill somewhere. Try doing a quick Facebook marketplace search for kids clothes for sale and you might be surprised what you can find. I've personally scored many great pieces for my own kids this way.
Donating or re-selling your kids clothes (whether you purchase sustainable items or buy secondhand) when they outgrow them can help continue the cycle of a reduced carbon footprint. So whether you want to borrow a dress for your little flower girl or need a great pair of durable Sperry boat shoes, there are plenty of ways to help the environment and keep your kid stylish.