It’s been almost 20 years since I had to shop for back-to-school clothes. Where do I even begin, especially if I want to live justly?
Ashlee is at that weird in-between stage—outgrowing girls clothing, but not really a junior size. I remember those days from my childhood. For more than a year, the only place I could shop was Sears’ “Lemon Frog” shop (but at least the clothes were groovy).
I’ve tried the reusit shop, the yard sale and the hand-me-down route, and it works pretty well for tops, but pants, shorts and skirts are a disaster! Way too much energy expended for little or no return.
Ashlee and I have begun making the rounds of stores, trying on all sorts of sizes from both the girls and juniors. A JC Penney the girls-plus 16 1/2 fits, but at Old Navy she’s a ladies size 6 if anything fits at all. At Justice for Girls she’s a 14 or 16. Other places, nothing fits. There’s no buying without trying it on.
I know from reading Green America’s Guide for Ending Sweatshops (download your own here) that most traditional retailers are still contracting with producers operating in sweatshop conditions. Most use practices that harm the environment. Few pay fair wages.
So if Justice for Girls offers no justice, and neither do other retailers, how do you responsibly outfit a preteen for school?
I went on worldofgood.com, which offers goods only by “eco-positive, people-positive” sellers, but there are no pants a self-conscious preteen would wear (little I would wear either). And since kids keep growing, and you need to regularly replace almost entire wardrobes, I can’t afford to be spending big bucks for each item.
So what’s the solution? I don’t have one. I’m guessing we’ll be shopping where all other preteen girls shop. If you have a more just solution, feel free to let me know. I’m certainly open to it!