The first day of school is right around the corner!
It’s that time of the year again where kids count down the last remaining days of summer, and parents start making shopping lists for the new school year. New shoes, uniforms, art supplies, notebooks, school bags and the like. This list can be daunting and endless for those with kids in different schools and year levels. Before you head out and brave the crowds at outlet malls and big box stores for great sales and discounts, imagine the children that should be getting excited for a new school year but are instead in a small hot and humid room, bent over and stitching a the shirt you’re about to buy for $3.
Related Article: Ethical School Uniforms
It might seem like a challenge to make sure that every single item on our list to be ethical, fair trade and environmentally safe. But fret not, we’ve found great alternatives to all your back to school needs.
Back Packs and school bags
Baggu is an environmentally conscious bag design company, based in Brooklyn, New York and San Francisco, California. Their founders, Emily Sugihara (born entrepreneur and Parsons fashion grad) and her mom Joan (master seamstress), set out in 2007 to share the minimalist bags they were sewing for themselves with bag enthusiasts everywhere. Shortly after, Emily’s childhood best friend Ellen Vanderlaan joined as creative director, followed by sales director Pia Howell.
Topo Designs is built around simplicity and the sense of connectedness with the things we own. Being outdoors is a very spiritual thing, they really enjoy the quietness and calm that is ever present. All products are made in the USA.
Hiptipico is an ethical fashion brand based in Panajachel, Guatemala showcasing Mayan artisans and their handmade creations. Every Hiptipico item is thoughtfully handcrafted by indigenous communities, using high-quality sustainable materials.
Reusable Lunch Bags
For many years reuseit.com® was known as ReusableBags.com®, a site that played a very important role in spawning the reusable shopping bag movement & in raising greater awareness of the plastic bag problem. Yet, through reuseit’s broader vision and actions, they found the potential to be so much more than just reusable bags. It is important to that we continue to evolve, while also maintaining the eco-conscious viewpoint that has earned your trust for years. Reuse it strives to offer a range of products that are sustainable and eco-friendly, and of course, reusable.
Reduce plastic bags waste by using Lunchskins reusable sandwich bags, snack bags, bibs, zippered bags, waterproof bags and totes. Our bags are reusable, toxin-free, and dishwasher-safe. Everyday solutions for a greener world!
U•Konserve is the result of two mothers’ struggle to be environmentally conscious as their families grew. As they packed school lunches, they knew the plastic baggies, drink cartons and single-use containers leaving their homes were destined for landfill. With this in mind, they created a waste-free lunch kit, and in 2008 U•Konserve was born. The desire was to have an impact beyond just creating durable, long-lasting products. The goal was to offer reusable and innovative solutions to change behavior and help the planet. That’s the same goal that drives our mission today.
Happy Little Soles was founded in 2010 in response to the frustration at the issues around children’s shoes available in the high street. Kate came to barefoot shoes when her younger daughter was struggling with shoes and balance and a series of chance conversations led her to Happy Little Soles and the solution to Keala’s balance problems!
Vegan Wares is owned and operated by people who live by the vegan philosophy and who are dedicated to providing high quality alternatives to leather products. We have a strong concern for the welfare of all creatures of this Earth, and so our products are free of ingredients derived from animals AND, as far as is possible, minimize negative environmental and social impacts.
KEEN manufactures hybrid outdoor and casual products, including footwear, bags and socks. Founded in 2003 with the launch of the Newport sandal known for its patented toe protection technology, KEEN creates innovative and comfortable products that transition seamlessly from work to play, and enables people to pursue a Hybrid lifestyle: create, play and care.
Recycled Notebooks and Binders
Eco Paper takes pride in all their paper products,100% tree free paper made without harmful chemicals.
At Green Field Paper, they are all about the paper- tree free paper. They offer both handmade paper and machine made hemp paper . It is their fine tactile seed embedded paper (embedded with non-invasive wildflower seeds) that they are known for throughout the world.