Last year, I wrote down my philosophy about organic kids’ clothes, the problems with cotton, and how to get most of your clothes free or very cheap so you can afford the nice stuff. This is just a short update. Skip the first section if you don’t have kids and just read about a great brand named PACT.

Burt’s Bees, an organic disappointment

Re-Think Green’s Burt’s Bees model

We did go ahead and buy some Burt’s Bees items, and I’m sad to say they were somewhat disappointing. The fabric feels pretty nice, but the stitching was very minimal, and I had to fix two holes that appeared along various seams after very few uses.

Here is a little pic to show our issues with the style, too. When I dressed my little guy for this outing to Skagit Valley, hubby was like, “Are those pajamas?” Maybe this style is fine for a baby or young toddler, but they are definitely on the casual side for the bigger kids.

The fit was also an issue. First of all, their underwear has an odd ratio of waist to leg-hole. The waist is fine for us — not too tight or too loose, but the leg holes are huge! As a result, I guess we wear them less than the Hanna Andersson unders we have. Also, they’re boring gray and white. But to the extent that we have worn them for the past year, they’ve held up better than the shirts and pants did.

When it comes to pants, I found the waists rather large for the stated size. We had one pair of really nice-looking “loose pique shorts,” but boy, were they loose! Maybe they are meant for diaper-wearers? Super-bulky cloth diaper-wearers in particular?

Funny story about how those shorts found a more appreciative owner. I was watching a 3-year-old who is a big guy, and he arrived in undies and jeans that just didn’t fit his booty very comfortably at all, despite being a size 5. He promptly took them off and started cavorting around my couch naked – eek! I started digging around for something that might fit him. Finally, I found these loose shorts (which were mid-calf length) in our pile of things to be given away. When his mom picked him up, we decided he should go home in them and that we should keep the size 5 jeans. An excellent trade!

PACT, my fave organic brand

So what can I recommend? I still like H&M’s “conscious” line. I really loved the robe-style onesies we had, and some shirts we used around age 3 were thin but proved durable. But I’m super excited that PACT, one of my favorite brands for organic socks, now has all kinds of other clothing for the whole family!

Image: wearpact.com

PACT tries to do it all when it comes to sustainability. They use wind power at their factories. The cotton they use is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which ensures no child labor, living wages, no discrimination, and of course no synthetic pesticides or herbicides. PACT also uses fair trade factories and posts pictures of their workers in India. Now if only they could have at least one factory in the US, too…

The great thing about PACT is that they don’t have to rely on these sustainability facts to sell you on their clothes. I got my Mom a pair of their tights last year. She is rather picky about hosiery and usually has a hard time finding tights that fit well and are durable enough for regular wear. (Like many Hungarians who love to bundle up, she often wears them under pants in the winter.) She was blown away by the PACT ones and couldn’t stop raving about how well they fit, how well-made they were, etc. We’ve had good experiences with their socks, too.

The baby items are super cute, but I have no direct experience with them. They have onesies and pants in sizes up to 12-18mo. in addition to socks. I’ve ordered a pair of toddler tights to use as long underwear this winter. We’ll see if he’ll put them on and how they hold up.

 

1 comment

  1. D

    Maybe we can swap some Burts Bees clothing. I like them, and they actually have lasted pretty well for us. I appreciate their good, inexpensive basics, like undershirts and shorts. The boys underwear isn’t that great for us either, but other than that, I still like them. I’ll have to check out PACT now too!

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