Are Your Children’s Clothes Ethical, Eco-friendly, and Safe?

In the past, the biggest concerns when buying new clothes were the price, and whether they looked good. There might also be some worry over dry cleaning or if your friends already had the same garment.

Nowadays, consumers are far more likely to check clothing to see which materials were used and how they were manufactured.

Even small actions can have a huge environmental impact, and buying clothes where the manufacturer has used lots of chemicals contributes to this damage.

When buying for your children there are also other reasons to want to know what is in that romper or beanie. Are there allergens, what materials were used, where, and how was it manufactured?

Fortunately, finding out this information can often be easy through the manufacturer’s hang tags.

What Are Hang Tags?

The chances are that you already know what these are, you perhaps just didn’t know what they were called. Hang tags are those pieces of card or plastic that are attached to garments, often with string.

They can be made from other materials and can come in a variety of shapes depending on the designer and manufacturer’s requirements.

Generally, though, they come in a rectangular shape and are made from card.

Taking the time to read, and on occasion use, these hang tags can mean you are making more informed purchases for your family.

Protecting Your Children From Allergens

Around 1 in 10 children suffer from eczema and this is only one allergy that your youngsters could be affected by.

Fabric or textile allergy is caused by clothing coming into contact with a child’s skin and is often from synthetic materials. It can also be caused by chemicals and dyes used in the manufacturing process.

According to the Allergy Standards website, there are a large number of chemicals used in textiles. These can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Silica gel
  • Silicon
  • Various flame retardants
  • Citric acid
  • Phenols

Formaldehyde is used to make clothing crease resistant but is known to cause skin irritation in both children and adults.

You might think this is easy to avoid by reading the labeling. Under US labeling law important information must be shown clearly on the labels.

However, this does not include chemicals used when making the clothing.

How Do Hang Tags Help You Understand How Your Children’s Clothes Were Made?

As you can see, there could be several chemicals used when making these clothes. As you can also see, there is no legal requirement to list them, although some companies are demanding that these chemicals are shown.

Hang tags allow forward-thinking, responsible companies to inform their consumers. These tags can let a manufacturer explain to potential customers exactly what their company’s values are.

They can add information that you may not even be thinking about when buying clothes.

What Information Can be Displayed on Hang Tags?

While a simple sewing label is very effective at displaying country of origin, sizing, care instructions, and the brand name, a hang tag can show so much more.


Any allergens and chemicals used can be displayed on a hang tag so you understand exactly what is in the clothes.

Now, the chances are that a manufacturer will want to hide these so instead look for eco-friendly credentials.

Environmentally Friendly Information

Instead of expecting to find a list of chemicals, look for companies that use the hang tag to explain their company’s values.

If they state the clothing is chemical-free and made from organic cotton then you know there is a good chance the item is safe.

It also means the cotton farmer has not been exposed to large amounts of chemicals either.

Look for Sedex Approved

If the hang tag says the clothing was made in a Sedex approved factory, then you can feel reassured that they made it ethically.

Sedex ensures workers are giving a living wage and are in a safe working environment with good conditions.

QR Codes

One of the most effective things a manufacturer can do is to include a QR code. All the consumer has to do is zap this with their smartphone and all the information you want can appear straight away.


Everyone would like to know how to shop for children’s clothes without spending a fortune but sometimes it is worth spending a little extra.

Buying clothing that is made from organic materials in safe conditions may mean a little extra on the price tag.

Checking hang tags will help you to find out the information you need and any company interested in the environment and their suppliers may share their social responsibility charter there too.

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