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Eco and Parenting Blog

Finally - affordable organic cotton clothing for older kids and teens

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Organic cotton clothing for older children and teens
Images courtesy of H&M

For anyone who's visiting this website, it's not going to be any surprise that we're passionate about the benefits of organic cotton, whether it's as the best choice of fabric for baby toys or whether it's for other organic cotton products which are outside of our particular speciality.

So many more people are now recognising organic cotton's attributes and in recent years there has been an explosion in the number of stockists of organic baby clothes, especially online. Increasingly too, there are stockist of organic clothing for adults, with influential fashion designers like Katherine Hamnett and Stella McCartney being well-known for their support and inclusion of organic fabrics in their collections.  There is, however, an age group which has been generally and sadly overlooked in terms of organic cotton clothing and that's over 5s to teenagers.  In the very few places online which offer organic clothing for older children and teens, the prices may well be prohibitively high or the limited choices might be emblazoned with an environmental message which, although a commendable cause, may exclude them from teenage appeal.

I was delighted a couple of years ago though to discover that high-street fashion retailer H&M had started to introduce organic cotton clothing (sometimes in a 50% mix with non-organic cotton) to their children's range.  I managed to buy a couple of lovely summery dresses for my eldest (then aged 10) and as her eczema is always especially bad in the summer, this really was a very welcome discovery.  H&M has gradually widened their range of organic cotton clothing within their adult and children's ranges, in many cases now with 100% organic cotton, rather than the 50/50 mix.  Although our local branch is quite small with rather limited choice, there now always seem to be organic cotton options for our 4 year old son and our 5 and 12 year old daughters.

In their children's range, H&M have wisely allocated organic cotton to staple wardrobe basics, such as boys' and girls' T-shirts and polo-necks in a range of colours, boys' shirts and now also girls' leggings.  If it wasn't enough good news that H&M have taken the environmental bull by the horns by introducing organic cotton within their adults' and children's ranges, the prices are fantastic too!  I recently bought some leggings and long-length T-shirts for my eldest daughter for just £2.99 each, which is just amazing value!  With prices this good on widely appealing items, I'm sure many of these have been snapped up by H&M's customers who wouldn't have actively chosen organic cotton.  (Incidentally, H&M explains on its Environment pages of its website that its suppliers' factories are regularly audited to ensure ethical and fair working conditions and pay are in place for the workers who make their clothing.) 

With the convenience of H&M stores being so accessible, their prices being so affordable and the right type of clothing being targeted for their organic cotton ranges, it's my view that H&M are doing a superlative job in making it really easy for us, as consumers, to choose organic.  Just look for their clothing with the green label attached which identifies their organic cotton items. 

I, for one, now make a point of shopping in H&M before looking in any other clothing retailer.  Even if an item I need isn't available in an organic option (yet), I'll still put H&M at the very top of my preferred retailer list, simply to support them as a company for their forward-thinking and to encourage their continually growing choices of organic cotton clothing!


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