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Ethical Kids Brands: Our 9 Favourites Who Go To War On Waste

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Ethical Kids Brands: Our 9 Favourites Who Go To War On Waste

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Instead of throwing away old clothes, toys and plastic products, pebble has a list of ethical kids brands who help ease some of the stress of being a parent.

Romally Coverdale

Fri 4 Feb 2022

Having kids tends to make people more concerned about a sustainable future, but many kid’s products are not only unsustainable but also go to waste pretty quickly.

Luckily, pebble’s trusty editorial team are full of ideas for ethical kids brands who care about the planet as well as our kids.

At pebble, all of our products are independently recommended by our editors. If you buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission which goes to help running our publication.

four kids facing the wall with one turned to face the camera

Quick links to pebble’s favourite ethical kids brands

Our 9 Favourite Ethical Kids Brands

1. Boy Wonder

Award-winning Boy Wonder is a boy’s fashion brand that produces beautiful clothing with printed designs that are sustainable and ethical.

Boy Wonder was founded on an array of eco-conscious and ethical based decisions by the founder, Ismay. Ismay was particularly shocked by the negative statistics in the children’s clothing industry, and how air pollution and chemicals in clothes negatively affected her child’s health.

child laughing against green background wearing fish and chip printed tshirt

In terms of production, the materials used by Boy Wonder are 100% sustainable, including British-made certified organic cotton.

Reducing emissions wherever possible, they use digital printing which reduces water usage by 100% as well as less energy, dye and waste.

The clothes are manufactured in small batches and in the UK meaning 47% less emissions. All the clothes are recyclable and biodegradable as they are made with natural monofibres.

Boy Wonder offers a recycling service for their clothing, offering a 40% discount code whenever a garment is returned (40% of the returned garment’s price). They then resell the product at a pre-loved price, so that each product is reused.

Boy Wonder donates scrap material to a multitude of organisations, like sending offcuts to be made into sanitary products in Ghana or donations via the Sharewear Clothing Scheme.

kid laughing against pink background

Each item of clothing is bold in colour and full of fun prints, and are designed to add at least 6 months extra growing-space. Patches can be purchased to add flare or patch up holes in clothing alongside £3.00 repair kits and services to increase the lifespan.

Aspiring B Corp, carbon positive and a part of 1% For The Planet, Boy Wonder has an impressive number of positive impact based programmes, from social to charity, regenerative to educational.

pebble's verdict

Pros: impressive charity work and future/current commitments | increased longevity of clothing | repair kits | waste recycled/repurposed | sustainably and ethically sourced/produced | transparent | good quality and fun clothing | small batch production.

Cons: Only available in the UK

From £30.00, see Boy Wonder

2. Rowdy Kind

Many bath products are not suitable for children’s skin as their skin is more prone to drying, bacteria and irritation; a lot of children’s products also use a lot of chemicals and colourants to make baths fun but at the cost of their skin’s comfort.

Luckily, award-winning Rowdy Kind creates vegan and sustainable shampoo, conditioner and soap bars.

With minimal ingredients to be less harsh to sensitive skin, some of their products can be used from those ages one onwards.

All their products are cruelty free, sustainably sourced and biodegradable.

Made in the UK, they employ vulnerable individuals to ensure that their bars only have a positive impact.

By using bars, there is less waste and more product, as one of Rowdy Kind’s bars is the equivalent of two mainstream bottles of product.

As well as being more cost effective, the weight difference means that there is less CO2 during transportation.

With no sulphates, parabens and PEG, Rowdy Kind provides a detailed ingredient list for all their products, ensuring the best quality for younger skin.

baby in a bath with hard bar shampoos

With vibrant colours and bars that can be used for both hair and everywhere, they also sell bubble baths and balms meaning bathtime will be equal parts fun and gentle.

pebble’s verdict

Pros: plastic free | transparent | employs vulnerable people sustainably and ethically made | reduction of emissions

Cons: no mention of future sustainability plans

From £4.00, see Rowdy Kind

3. Bundlee

Babies grow rapidly so there’s a big problem of what parents do with the unused clothes.

It’s estimated that seven out of ten parents still have clothes that are outgrown by their children, equally 183 million unworn items across the UK.

Award-winning Bundlee is on a mission to prevent such massive waste and hassle for the parents through a clothes renting service. They provide clothes from babies to children, partnered with other sustainable kidswear brands.

Renting reduces the carbon emissions by 86% and saves an additional 96% of water compared to buying.

Shockingly, it takes 260 litres of water to make just one babygrow!

small child in brown clothes looking down

Bundlee’s circular model means that the clothes produced are high in quality for longevity and comfort. Their rental model extends the lifespan of clothes by up to 400%.

To reduce the carbon emissions, the clothes are dyed, printed and made in the UK, and the materials used in the Bundlee Originals are all produced using 70% renewable energy.

After the clothes are returned (free of cost), they are sent to a partnered eco-cleaning facility to kill bacteria and viruses through waste-free methods of an Ozone Sanitisation Chamber.

two children of different ages wearing same outfit, smallest sitting down

The Bundlee Originals range is a perfect capsule wardrobe composed of 15 pieces of classic baby outfits. This wardrobe can be for boys, girls or gender neutral styles. By renting as a subscription for £24 a month, over £200 can be saved.

They also offer subscriptions to cloth nappies, meaning less waste for the environment, potentially irritating chemicals and provides an inexpensive option for parents.

pebble’s verdict

Pros: great alternative for parents | partnered with ethical and sustainable brands | easily catered to customer | transparent | states how they will improve | clothes are reused and recycled if no longer usable

Cons: no mention of charity work

From £24 per month, see Bundlee

4. PACHEE

Family run business PACHEE creates bold, bright and fun rucksacks and patches for children with children’s expression at the heart of the company.

Made from eco cotton canvas, there are four varieties of colours while prioritising function and comfort, as well as expression.

The packaging used in shipping is reused, to reduce the waste and PACHEE plans to use biodegradable clips, to make the bag fully recyclable.

child in roller-skates showing off denim jacket with patches

PACHEE created their unique Beltbackpack, a stylish combination of a classic rucksack and a detachable belt bag.

With PACHEE, children can proudly display their achievements and identity through the patches, with a large collection to choose from. They are also easy to apply, either ironed on or sewn on.

They offer a free patching labour service for if some broken or stained garments need covering up.

child taking yellow rucksack off of peg

The patches themselves are lovingly and ethically made by Rudholm, a green company who take sustainability seriously.

PACHEE is a proud supporter of the children's mental health charity Place2Be, having recently donated 10% of their sales for a limited time. They also donate to local children's hospices, giving free patches to kids at Christmas.

pebble’s verdict

Pros: produced in small batches | sustainable and ethical practices| recycled packaging | charity work | Beltbackpacks made by BSCI certified and ethical practices

Cons: no mention of where materials are sourced | no mention of future plans

From £4.99, see PACHEE

5. Borrow and Nest

Children’s toy baskets can be overwhelming and filled with plastic toys, which is bad for your pocket and the planet.

In addition to volume, around 47% of parents say that their children stop playing with new toys in a week (British Heart Foundation).

Borrow and Nest produce a welcomed solution: plastic-free toy rental.

They provide a range of ethical kids toys that can be swapped and borrowed, enabling a more mindful approach to traditional relationships with toys - teaching children the values of sharing and sustainability.

All the toys produced are made out of wood to reduce the plastic consumption and extend the life cycle.

The wooden toys have antibacterial properties and are less likely to break, meaning they are environmentally friendly and can withstand tactile play.

baby laying next to wooden chew toy

The subscription rate is £23.99 a month, being six times more cost effective, and enables two toys to be borrowed at once. The toys currently range from 0-3+ years.

Customers have complete flexibility over how long they have the toys, what toys they have etc. All that needs to be done is to post back the toy and the replacement would be posted to you in return.

Female founded and family run, Borrow and Nest pride themselves on supporting other independent, family run businesses through collaboration.

pebble’s verdict

Pros: reduces carbon emissions | plastic free | supports other small businesses | reduce waste

Cons: no mention of sustainable or ethical sourcing/production | not sure whether made from recycled wood | shipping/returns not paid for | no mention of sustainable/recycled packaging

For £23.99 a month, see Borrow and Nest

6. Pip & Henry

Kids typically outgrow shoes every three-four months, with an average of 15 pairs of shoes per year. Disused and outgrown shoes tend to end up in landfills, releasing chemicals and toxins into the ground and water.

Luckily, Pip & Henry present a sustainable alternative to kid’s footwear. Currently made from 80% sustainable materials, Pip & Henry plan to reach 100%.

The materials include:

  • Pineapple leaf for the panels of the shoes
  • Organic cotton for the upper and lining
  • Recycled thermoplastic rubber (TPR) for the sole

Pip & Henry ensure that the shoes are ethically produced, are kind to people and the planet. This does come at a cost, but we think it’s worth it.

Pair of kids shoes in the air under grass

They currently produce four styles (Clover, Magic, Dinosaur and Space) ranging from UK sizes 4-13 at £75 a pair and some elements are customisable. They arrive in 100% recyclable shoeboxes that double up as boardgames.

Pip & Henry partner with First Mile and offer a shoe recycling programme, where you get a £10 voucher to spend on their shoes if you send them a pair of any children’s shoes.

The soles can be repurposed into playground surfaces or other things extending their life beyond shoe-form. Pip & Henry even accept shoes that are not their own brand to be recycled.

Pip & Henry provides free online resources to help educate kids on the environment, including their own children’s book.

kids playing with a board game from a shoebox

pebble’s verdict

Pro: 80%, soon 100%, recycled materials used | recycling service | ethically and sustainably made | stylish and customisation | aim to educate kids | made to be reused/recycled | measures to restrict carbon footprint | small batches

Cons: price | no mention of reduced/recycling water in cotton treatment | no charity support | unknown factory location | no mention of where the materials are sourced

For £75.00 a pair, see Pip & Henry.

7. Seahorsey

While there is an overwhelming amount of plastic in the ocean, companies like Seahorsey are making big strides to reduce the amount.

Seahorsey makes eco-ethical toys and accessories for children made out of recycled materials, and create zero waste in the process!

From lunchboxes to rucksacks, with soft toys made from ocean plastics on the way, their toys are recyclable.

With an absence of harmful chemicals, and all products thoroughly tested, they are safe and certified to be used by children.

As well as utilising recycled materials, they also plant trees through their partner One Tree Planted to help provide a better future for the world.

At checkout, customers can opt to plant a tree for £1, adding to the trees already planted by Seahorsey to offset their transport emissions.

child on dinosaur printed beanbag reading book 'great women'

All the bags have animal designs showing some of the animals of the world with a customisable colour palette.

Seahorsey lets the customer know how much plastic is in the bag, eg Vayu the Rucksack is made from 11 plastic bottles. All their bags are lightweight, water resistant and comfortable with padding and breathable straps.

While not currently using 100% recycled materials for every product, they aim to use only recycled materials in the near future - as they are currently 99.9% recycled!

They’re also planning on a buy back scheme and potentially partnering with organisations like Terracycle to ensure an extended lifecycle of their products.

Beyond their products, their ethos is also reflected in their actions. They sponsor and organise beach and countryside cleanups to help kids grow their eco-consciousness.

pebble’s verdict:

Pros: Global shipping | uses mostly recycled materials | partnered with One Tree Planted | biodegradable packaging | organises cleanups | transparent future plans

Cons: no mention of ethical production | hopefully will source non-recycled materials from sustainable/ethical sources

From £12.00, see Seahorsey

8. thelittleloop

After appearing on Dragon’s Den, thelittleloop has hit the children’s fashion industry by storm. They are working towards a world where children’s clothes are no longer wasted.

thelittleloop do this by providing a clothes rental services for kid’s clothes aged from 1-10. Once the children’s clothes do not fit any more, they can be returned, expanding the garment’s lifespan by 4-5 times.

Any materials that cannot be upcycled/recycled by thelittleloop are then sent to the Salvation Army to be recycled so nothing is wasted.

Currently, the company has already saved 630 kgs of clothing waste that would otherwise have gone to the landfill. Their circular model allows them to create 80% less CO2 emissions and wasted water that would have been created in production.

All the clothing brands that are partnered with thelittleloop create their garments ethically and sustainably. thelittleloop are also partnered with a multiple of organisations that help minimise global impact.

three children on a dock chatting

So, how does it work? In essence, thelittleloop have their own currency of credits which the customer spends. Credits are obtained at a monthly or tri-monthly subscription, and the pricing of clothes depends on the individual piece and the amount it has been worn.

This allows a lot of flexibility and range as to what clothes can be obtained and how many, allowing a more personal catering to the child unlike other pre-picked systems.

One the garments are chosen, thelittleloop send the clothes via mail in a reusable bag, which the clothes are then returned in.

thelittleloop is a great alternative to fast fashion, and still guarantees amazing quality clothes no matter the stage in its lifespan.

pebble’s verdict

Pros: Sustainably and ethically sourced | Closed system | Upcycles and recycles | Partnered with sustainable brands and companies | Reduces waste | transparent

Cons: Packaging could be made out of compostable/recyclable materials | Doesn’t stock baby’s clothes | Doesn’t accept donated clothes (not mentioned)

From £18 a month, see thelittleloop

9. YoungPlanet

YoungPlanet is a platform that enables parents to donate, and give away for free, unwanted clothing, toys and other items.

Not only does this help parents declutter, but also allows parents to easily share what they don't need and save the planet.

Via the app, users can easily upload images of the donated goods, or browse and search for their own items that are needed. This is also a cost effective way for children from all financial backgrounds to receive toys, clothes and other goods.

From maternity clothes and bottle sterilisers to children’s shoes and bicycles, there is something for every parent on this platform.

family standing outside of house holding many toys

pebble’s verdict

Pros: Easy to use | Platform for reuse and recycling | Affordable

Cons: Falls on parents to do the work | No mention of charity work/donations | No guarantee to the quality of clothing

For free, see YoungPlanet

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