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The Conscious Back to School Guide

We hate to say it's that time of the year again, but everyone knows back to school shopping can totally light a spark for that first day back. We love watching little ones get so excited about that new pencil case, or spending hours picking out their outfit for the first day back, hoping to make a statement of who they'd like to become over another year of growth.

What challenges us is the lack of options for conscious and sustainable fashion and accessories when this big shopping frenzy takes place. Moms and dads forget that last year's runners are fine, youth get caught up in the shopping madness and the idea of getting new, shiny things, and fail to remember the many supplies they already have are perfectly intact. If we started buying smarter, conscious of items we can still use from the previous school year, we'd create much less harm on our environment by not tossing our no longer "trendy" items, and instead, buy items and fashion we know will last longer than a school year.

So, how do we start to make these more conscious decisions and approach back to school shopping sustainably?

1.What equipment do you have that you can spare?

Rummage through those pencil cases, see what items you have stuffed up in storage or on dad's desk in the basement. Take advantage of what you already own. You don't need a new notebook if you only used 3 pages from last year. Simply by eliminating the amount of pens and pencils and small essential needs that are wrapped in plastic, we can make a huge impact on the amount of waste produced at the beginning of the school year.

2.What fads can you live without?

At the beginning of every school year, we seem to fall into a whole of mass media, feeling compelled to keep up with the current fashion trends, which can often also lead to an empty wallet by the first day of school. What clothing do you have that you can tailor or upcycle into something new that you've been eyeing in stores? Maybe you've been hoarding clothing you no longer wear. Check out what stores or local organizations are recycling clothing in your area, or donate to those in need of attire. Our favorite: Host a clothing swap in your community and get a whole new wardrobe while parting with items you haven't worn in ages.

3.The infamous backpack, how do we keep you from falling apart?

Especially for our college goers, heavy lifting seems to be a pre-requisite for the year ahead. Those backpacks and side bags can hardly handle all those books! We know what it's like to have a backpack or bag rip at least once a year, that's why we are committed to showcasing durable and stylish bags that are guaranteed to outlast the school year. For bags, it's really quality over price. The cheaper you go, the worse the conditions are for those creating them, and the more likely they're going to rip from right behind you. Our suggestion: it's time to invest in a bag that's going to last as long as you are over the next four to five year.

Here's our faves for the upcoming school year. Each item is sustainably made with a conscious element that positively effects humans, animals and mother earth. Check it out below! 

PLUS, unsure of how to dress your beautiful canvas? Check out our post from earlier this summer, featuring styling tips for your unique shape!

For the Pre-Schooler

Flying Free Falling Water T-Shirts - Little Green Radicals

Keep your little one cool in this adorable frilly top (perfect for layering), made from 100% certified organic cotton!

Pawprints Pocket Playsuit - Turtle Dove London

Who said playsuits were just for adults? Move over pajama onesie, we've got the hottest playsuit around for playtime! Designed with cute animal prints and made to easily dress, this organic cotton jersey material is soft and gentle on delicate skin. Perfect for getting rough on the playground!

Red Pinafore Dress - Little Green Radicals

This adorable red, overall style dress is perfect for pairing with collared and frilly tops, or classic tees. Versatile, radically red and made from 100% certified organic cotton.

For the High Schooler

Black Planet Tee - FOKUS

How do you make a statement your first day? Just one word, "planet", can start up hundreds of conversations, especially when your shirt is made from 100% recycled product, including plastic bottles recovered from the ocean.

Moon Dance Black Hot Pants - Teeki

Be bold in our Moon Dance hot pants, made from recycled water bottles in an eco-friendly process preventing chemical runoff, using 90% less water! 

Lekanda Shirt - Skunkfunk

Versatile shirts that can be played up, played down and be a dress on their own - how can you go wrong?! Plus, this baby is made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. That means a 100% guarantee that the cotton used is without toxic pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically modified seeds. Pure at its core!

Kim Backpack - Pixie Mood

We absolutely love our Pixie Mood backpacks! Animal friendly, durable, light, easy to adjust and converts into a cross body bag. 

Available in Black and Prauline.

7 Wrap Chakra Color & Austrian Crystal Bracelet - Alma Boa

This gorgeous bracelets is made from powerful natural stones and crystals that can alter the flow of your energy.

We can balance our mind and body energy using the healing properties of gemstones and crystals, a great resource for stressful finals. Learn more about the power of crystals by clicking here!

For the College Freshman

Gartzene - Skunkfunk

Our favorite fall blouse just happens to also be made from 100% certified organic cotton! Style with dress pants for a day on campus, or half tuck into a pair of high waisted jeans for an afternoon in the city.

Leunda Pants - Skunkfunk

We love our Leunda Pants. They create beautiful lines and give the illusion of a skirt while remaining as comfortable as a trouser. These babes are made from 60% recycled polyester and will become your favorite go-to for any professional or casual setting.

Nuria Dress - Skunkfunk

Urban style, classy lines. Make a statement in sustainable style in this Nuria dress made from plant-based pulps of Lyocell and Viscose.

Jasmine Tote Bag - Pixie Mood

This durable tote is perfect for those who carry around their life in their bag. Its roomy design, accompanied by a top-zip removable wristlet is ideal for running around campus with everything you need by your side. Plus, this vegan leather baby is animal friendly, made from low grade Polyurethane.

Available in Rose, Ash Teal and Black.

Wire Necklace 22N Ring and Crystal - MASHALLAH

This MASHALLAH pieces used gemstones woven together with 100% handmade recycled semi-precious metal sourced from landfills by the careful hands of villagers in Ghana. This eco-friendly, socially conscious, and altruistic process negates electronic waste and is conducive to the manifestation of exquisite, singular, and aesthetically captivating handcrafted necklaces. Empower with this statement necklace, perfectly paired with collared shirts and long sleeve tops.