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Teach Your Children the Importance of Sustainable Fashion

This article was written by Danielle on behalf of Banana Moon – an online retailer that create personalized clothing, using suppliers that ethically produce their materials.

Most families these days will do some form of recycling in their household. One aspect of eco-consciousness that may not have enough attention within the family is sustainable fashion. This is a growing industry in the realm of environmentalism, and is a significant change to the production of clothing. Nowadays, as well as making donations to environmental charities, active steps are being made by many companies and designers to ensure their clothing is ethically produced, and the raw materials used are made using environmentally friendly techniques. Sustainable fashion is not just a passing trend; a lot of effort has been made over the years to improve the working conditions of the clothing industry, and to use natural raw materials.

As part of a generation that is growing up knowing more about the environment than ever before, it’s important to teach children about the sustainability of fashion. Once kids start to hit adolescence, it’s all too easy for them to buy into the fast fashion industry as this is usually one of the cheapest ways to buy fashionable clothing. However, if they are aware from a young age about the sustainable fashion industry, they can make informed choices in their purchases when they get older. Even if you as a parent make the choice to buy eco-friendly products, it’s important for your children to know why you make this choice.

Whilst this subject may be covered in their formal education, it’s important to consolidate this information at home. The best place to start with this is the basics: look at the raw materials. Using natural fibres is one of the best ways to be environmentally friendly. There are many different natural fibres such as cotton, silk, wool and hemp. This is just the tip of the iceberg; there’s a wealth of produce that can be used to create eco-friendly clothing. To keep your kids’ attention, you could get some samples of these fibres to make the experience more hands on and memorable.

Cotton is the most popular and well known natural fibre, but it can actually cause a lot of damage to the environment if it isn’t produced correctly. Whilst it is being grown, 25% of the world’s insecticides are used on the crops and it has a massive carbon footprint. So, if possible it is best to choose organic cotton. This is a great fabric as, suggested by the name, it is organic and in turn bio-degradable. Organic cottons are often free from chlorine bleaches and synthetic dyes, reducing the chemicals used in production. Show your children the difference between organic and normal cotton, and reiterate that the organic cotton does not make as much damage to the environment.

Telling your kids all this information is a great start, but to help them make informed choices it’s best to be more practical. One way to show your kids what they can do to make a difference is to encourage them to sort out their old clothes to take to the charity shops. You can explain to them the importance of what they are doing; not only are they recycling, they are helping out the charity by making a donation to their cause. While at the shop it’s also a great place to find new clothes for yourself and the children, and stops some real gems being thrown away. Buying second-hand reduces your waste output created by the production of new clothes, and are often a lot cheaper – so you can be really thrifty as well as being environmentally friendly!

These steps will help your children to be more environmentally responsible as they grow up, and help them to understand the processes that go in to making sustainable clothing.

This article was written by Danielle on behalf of Banana Moon – an online retailer that create personalized clothing, using suppliers that ethically produce their materials.

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Amy Bellgardt

AMY BELLGARDT is a wife and mom of two boys, as well as founder and lead blogger at Mom Spark. Amy also manages Mom Spark Media, a social media marketing firm.

One Response to “Teach Your Children the Importance of Sustainable Fashion”

  1. #
    Erika at PlayMG — October 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Great idea – it’s so important to teach our kids from an early age what they personally can do to help keep the world the way we want it. My two boys have been sorting their clothes and toys for several years, once they were old enough to make good decisions about what to keep and what to give away. I always take them with me to donate them so they see where their giveaways are ending up. It makes us all feel good to know we’re helping another family supply their kids!

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