(BPT) - If shopping responsibly for your family is at the top of your priority list, you may have already spent time searching for clothes for your baby or toddler that are better for the environment. Unfortunately, some of these options can also come with a hefty price tag. Fortunately, better choices are becoming available all the time. Here are a few ways you can shop for clothes for your young children - or to gift to friends and family with little ones - that are more sustainable, longer-lasting, adorable and affordable.
1. Seek out companies committed to sustainable clothing production
For example, companies like Livaeco and Better Cotton are leading the way with a 'forest to fashion' approach to fabric sourcing. Livaeco fibers are 100% sourced with ethical forestry practices, and every garment made is fully traceable back to its origin. Better Cotton is helping cotton communities survive and thrive while protecting and restoring the environment. They also train an ever-growing workforce in more sustainable farming practices, including farmers, farm workers and all those connected with the growing of cotton.
Gerber Childrenswear, the well-known manufacturer of Gerber brand baby and toddler clothing, has reduced its carbon emissions by 6% and is on track to reduce emissions by 20% in the next five years. In addition, it regularly donates apparel and essentials to Delivering Good, a nonprofit organization supporting families affected by poverty and tragedy. Over 75% of the company's packaging is currently recyclable, and they are striving for 100%.
2. Buy clothing made from high-quality materials
Well-made, high-quality materials will not only clothe your children better as they grow and play, but will also be durable enough to last for years to come - helping to reduce waste. One innovation in clothing materials is viscose fiber made predominately from eucalyptus, which is both high-quality and long-lasting.
Gerber Childrenswear has partnered with Livaeco by Birla Cellulose to launch a new children's clothing line, "Our Softest Edit," which includes rompers, twirl dresses, headbands, two-piece pajamas and Sleep N' Plays made from environmentally-friendly viscose fiber blended with spandex (95% viscose and 5% spandex). Buttery soft and much lighter than other fabric materials, clothing made using viscose fiber is not only lightweight, breathable and comfortable on the skin, but is a more affordable alternative to other premium quality apparel such as garments made from bamboo. Its stretchability is also ideal for active babies and toddlers.
3. Consider clothing that can be passed down
One sure-fire way to reduce waste and encourage reusing of clothing is to buy high-quality clothing that can be easily passed down to family and friends - or donated to your community to help other families. Reusability is not just about how sturdy and durable the fabric is, but that the clothing is designed to be suitable for a variety of different children and families, in gender-neutral solids and colorful patterns that any child could wear and enjoy.
To make clothing that's great for passing along to others, the Our Softest Edit collection features seven neutral colors, twelve year-round fun patterns and two holiday styles, making them perfect for mixing and matching with siblings - or for simply maximizing your children's wardrobes without having to spend more.
4. Find lower cost options that you'll love
The Our Softest Edit line is made to be affordable and fun, with every piece of clothing costing under $25, including some items starting as low as $6.99. The sizes for this line range from 0-3M to 5T, and you can easily find Our Softest Edit clothing online at GerberChildrenswear.com.
You can feel good about choosing "conscious clothing" for your little ones that comes from sustainably-sourced materials, and is made with maximum wearability and reusability in mind.