Back to Basics with B2S
In my Ralph Lauren-meets-eco-mom dream world, my daughter would go to school every day in pristine hi-tops, a popped collar layered under a hand-knit wool sweater, and a pair of thickly cuffed jeans with her hair appropriately messy. In the real world, however, my daughter would last about an hour in that outfit before wiggling her little body right out of it and leaving it in an inglorious heap on the floor. She’s a girl who likes to move and stretch, and get paint e’rywhere. She comes home from school on an almost daily basis with food or glue, or mud ground into something. And as much as I adore her in those perfectly styled outfits, I have to face the facts that she’s a kid on the move.
The Basics on Basics
When shopping for back to school clothes, it’s easy to forget about the necessary basics. Mostly because the term basic, sounds so, well, b-a-s-i-c. But the truth is, basics makes your child’s world go round. Without those handful of tees and sweats, leggings and hoodies, early morning school choices would be agonizing. Gym day would be uncomfortable in skinny jeans, and any potentially messy art project would become impossible in any sort of dry-clean only numbers.
Every kid needs a good set of basics. They need a couple of tees, some leggings or sweats, and a few great hoodies. Even some easy cotton dresses can fall under the category of basics: you just want the clothes your child wears to allow him/her to move and grow and stretch and play. Basics are easy to mix and match, are great for layering and can easily go from spring through to winter.
Since basics are such a huge part of your kids’ wardrobe, why not take the opportunity to make those basics green!
These are the clothing your child will be in for most of their day, so why not try some organics basics on for size this year!
There are some great companies in Canada (I know, O Canada, right?!) that produce totally fantastic kids’ clothing that are made with organic fabrics, sustainable materials, and in many cases are actually made locally.
I know, I know, organic and sustainable fabrics are more expensive, not gonna lie about that. But, you know how your mom used to say that you have to pay for quality? You’re mom was right. Organic and sustainable fabrics are going to cost more because more goes into growing the vegetation for textile, preparing the fabric, dyeing it, and manufacturing it in an ethical and safe work environment.
But here's something to consider: conventionally grown cotton is horrible for the environment. I know, I gasped too. From the standpoint of environmental impact, it requires a ton of water to grow cotton. And, if you think about it, cotton isn’t food, so all this water is being used strictly for textile development. And yes, I realize that we can’t go all Adam and Eve, and make it through our Canadian winters.
From a toxicity standpoint, “cotton uses approximately 25% of the world’s insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides”(Organic It's Worth It) And that, my friend, is a lot of junk that gets dumped on the cotton, which is then absorbed into the water table. So the pesticides aren’t only on the products we buy, but are also in the ground we rely on for food and the water we drink.
When you look at it that way, organic cotton is well-worth the price!
And the cool thing is, for every dollar that you spend on organic cotton or other sustainably produced products, you are spending one less dollar on conventionally grown textiles. It's a small message sent to the fast fashion industry, but one that's definitely worth sending.
I get it, we all have budgets. Some of us are lucky enough to have bigger ones and others are just trying to make ends meet. That’s real life. But, if you can swing it, investing in a few solid organic pieces, those you know your child will wear all the time and will be sad about when they are in the wash and not on their body, is a great thing to do.
Plus, organic cotton makes some of the softest fabric around. Like ultra soft t-shirts, and fantastic underwear that don’t pinch or pull.
Check out these shops that feature organic basics for the back to school bunch. They're totally Canadian, totally adorable and totally organic!!
This is a super fun organic line of clothing that is designed and made in Toronto, Ontario. The sweats are ridiculously soft and utterly adorable. www.minimioche.com
Another great organic company out of Toronto, that features some super basics for babes to size 8. Check out that Ariba hoodie: so cute and perfect for whatever life throws at your little one!! www.ouime.ca
Based in Vancouver, British Colombia, features lovely, on point, trendy basics for the youngin's from newborn to 3T www.vonbon.ca
A special shout out to Mini Mioche for letting my girl model some of their threads, which, incidentally she didn’t want to take off after and insisted on doing a few karate kicks, and mad hip hop moves off camera.