Time for new back-to-school supplies and clothes? Here are tips and resources to help you shop sustainably this school year. 


  • Shop savvy AND purchase sustainably-made clothes


    • Learn more about sustainable fashion certifications, like OEKO- TEX to Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), so you can make an informed decision when buying goods.
    • Try one of the brands listed in Sustainably Chic’s 2023 Sustainable Kids Clothing Brands
    • Try buying secondhand clothes.   In addition to local consignment and thrift stores, some brands like Levi’s® offer secondhand clothes on their websites.


  • Buy supplies made with recycled-content materials


Recycled-content supplies are available in stores and on-line, including:

      • backpacks made with recycled polyester or cotton
      • folders, notebooks, and paper made with recycled paper
      • lunch boxes and pens made from recycled bottles
      • aluminum thermos bottles made with recycled steel


  • Don’t place clothes, broken markers, or shoes in the recycling bin


Clothes can become tangled around equipment. Small items like markers can’t be sorted and contaminate the recycling stream.  


  • Donate old clothes and supplies


Check locally for places that accept usable supplies and clothes. Need help finding a drop-off location, try one of these resources:


Consider donating used crayons to organizations like Crayon Collection that provide crayons and art education to underserved schools.

  • Check for take-back programs for clothes, shoes, and school supplies like markers and crayons


Take-back programs from brands like Levi’s® and GAP extend the life of your unwanted clothes. GAP provides a credit when using Gap X thredUP Clean Out Kit. Learn more details about Levi’s® repair, reimagine, and recycle initiatives.   

Have old t-shirts? Marine Layer’s Re-Spun program offers the options to either drop off tees at their store or mail back t-shirts to receive a credit.

Need more ideas? Check Style Salute for a list of companies with take back program for clothes.