Back to School Clothes with a Focus on Safety & Sustainability

With a new school year on the horizon, many families are preparing for back-to-school shopping. This year is one for the record books, according to a survey conducted by U.S.-based National Retail Federation.  Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend nearly $850 on average on back-to-school items. That is an increase of more than $50 over last year’s spending. Total spending is expected to reach an all-time high of $37.1B billion.

It’s safe to say that back-to-school shopping is on the rise. How can families ensure they’re directing their dollars to clothing that is safe for their children? Look for the labels. OEKO-TEX® tests for harmful substances and certifies sustainable manufacturing practices to ensure products are safe for human health and the environment.

OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 is one of the world's best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances. The label certifies that every component of the product from the thread to the buttons has been tested for up to 350 toxic chemicals.

An OEKO-TEX® MADE IN GREEN label gives you the certainty of knowing that the product is made with materials that have been tested for harmful substances, in environmentally friendly facilities, in safe and socially responsible workplaces. Each item can be traced using a unique product ID or QR code. The label gives access to information regarding production facilities in which the textile or leather article was produced, the stage of production to which the facility belongs, and the countries of manufacture.

Families can consider these questions as they gear up with back-to-school essentials:

  • Have I checked the label?

Look for the OEKO-TEX® labels to be confident that textiles meet OEKO-TEX® standards for safety, sustainability, and worker protections. Try the label check tool to confirm the validity of product labels and ensure they are current and accurate. 

  • Is it necessary?

The most sustainable approach to shopping is to buy only what you truly need.

  • Can I donate or re-purpose?

Instead of throwing out ill-fitting or worn-out kids’ clothes, prioritize re-purposing or donating them. To cut down on unnecessary purchases, consider a “one in, one out” rule when purchasing a new article of clothing. When you add an item to your child’s closet, decide what it will replace.

Together, we can protect our kids and their future, while modeling #consciousconsumer practices.