Back to school with green fashions


Eco-friendly organic fashions are putting students at the top of their class. Educate your kids about the benefits of the green lifestyle and start off with some gear to help them make the grade.

Natural fibers
Choose your fashion made from enviro-friendly fibers like organic cotton or bamboo. Organic cotton is gentler on the earth because it's grown using methods that protect biodiversity and air quality while restoring the soil and preventing erosion. Hemp has become the darling for green clothes because it's a renewable source that grows quickly and naturally fertilizes the soil.

Buy fair to be fair
You can also make a difference buying clothing free of sweatshop labour and fairly traded. Co-op America lists some companies selling fair trade goods (including clothing) in their National Green Pages. You can also find fair trade, organic clothing at the design-conscious Equita, Essentials for Ethical Living. You may even be able to pick some of your favourite items on their sale page.

Fashionable but also socially minded
Since 1992 Maggie's Functional Organics has been making fashionable clothing using only organic and sustainable raw materials. These are clothes you can feel good about since everything from T-shirts to socks is environmentally sound and socially responsible. Their organic bliss camisoles are sure to please all ages.

The fashion but still earth-conscious student will also enjoy the fall collection from Stewart & Brown. This company offers all-natural, biodegradable fabrics grown in soil certified free from pesticides and herbicides. There is a wide range of eco-chic T-shirts, "hoodys" and pants to choose from.

Stylish hemp
Specializing in natural hemp clothing, bags, jewelry and footwear, Grass Roots Natural Goods has something for everyone. Their ribbed cardigan sweater with three-quarter length sleeves is a lightweight blend of hemp and silk that is perfect for any class. Backpacks and messenger bags come in a variety of sizes and colours.

Rawganique embraces the slow-is-beautiful movement using only sustainably-grown organic hemp, cotton and linen fibers. Products that include everything from clothing, footwear, bags and a home collection are created using only clean energy from solar panels and a wind generator. Their new fall collection includes a unisex hemp jean with a button- down and low-rise boot cut.

Completely free of harmful synthetic and chemicals and only produced from organic hemp, flax, cotton and silk, Green Home clothing has every season covered. From sweatshirts, hoodies, and jackets made form eco-fleece to hats, gloves and scarves, there's something for everyone on your list.

Grade school fashion
For the best dressed kids on the playground, visit Fig Kids, the children's line by BC's Twice Shy that features quality organic wear for children.

Check out the cute clothing options for kids from Joe Fresh Style. Although not organic, these affordable 100 percent cotton pieces are a good start for building a green wardrobe. Let's hope Joe can add some organic cotton to their future collections. In the meantime, styles like cool capris, bohemian blouses, jeans, polo shirts and army cargo pants will suit all grades.

Jennifer Sgro is a Toronto freelance writer.