I’m here to tell you… it IS possible! But it is not easy. We’re talking American-made school clothes and I’ve done the scouting so you don’t have to. School is starting soon all over the country and the hunt is on for made in the USA back to school kids clothes. My kiddos and I went on a mission to the Kohl’s, Target, and Walmart in our area to find back to school clothing made in the US.
Shopping the Big Boxes
Our first stop was Kohl’s where we hit both the boys’ and girls’ sections. We read tags, searching for those elusive words: “Made in the USA”. We searched, and searched, and… finally, I spied a rack of boy’s Levi’s and thought excitedly, “Levi’s still makes SOME jeans in the US!!”. Well, they do make SOME jeans, but definitely not these boys sizes, as all the ones we spied were made in China and Egypt.
It wasn’t until we moved onto the socks and underwear section that we found anything. We felt like we struck gold when we saw “Made in the USA” on the labels of a whole section of girls Trimfit brand tights! We thought were on a roll when we found those magic words on a package of girls Hanes socks. And I do mean A PACKAGE, as all the other labels of the same exact Hanes sock style were made in other countries. It happened again with the boys Hanes underwear, socks and T-shirts. If we looked hard enough we could find a few manufactured in the US.
We repeated this process next at Walmart, and came across the same results. Some socks and underwear from Hanes and Walmart’s own brand, Faded Glory, carried “Made in the USA” on the package. We repeated the process one last time at Target. Here we found the words “Made in the USA” to again be almost impossible to find…. and we left finding not a single item of back to school clothing with them on it.
In-store back to school shopping conclusion: You aren’t going to find any USA made kids clothing in box stores except socks and underwear- and even those you have to search for.
Finding American-made back to school clothing can be just as challenging to do on line also. Checking labels at stores can be time consuming and depressing. Trying to find made in the USA clothes on popular store websites is all of these and also beyond frustrating! Some stores don’t say where their clothing is made…. some searches bring customers to items decorated in American Flags, yet say made in China. I’ve done the searching so you don’t have to.
Believe it or not, there are great kid’s clothing retailer websites out there that make it easy to find kids clothing specifically made in the USA. And to top it off, the clothing is in style and affordable!
CWD Kids has a “Made in USA” tab at the top of their site for shoppers who are looking specifically for made in America kids clothing- Gotta LOVE this!! They carry boys and girls clothing sizes 2t-14/16. The boys long sleeve train t-shirt pictured is sold here.
dELiAs is a great site for for tween and teen girl clothing. Enter “USA” into the search and you get a selection of American made fashionable tops. The lace heart t-shirt pictured is from this site.
Hank Player USA‘s edgy, cool, retro tees for kids are all made in the USA. These will be the favorite shirts pulled first from the laundry basket and worn year round.
American Apparel manufactures ALL of their clothing in the USA. They have stores all over the world where you can shop in person, or you can order online. They carry clothing for everyone in the family from babies to adults. The fleece zip up hoodie pictured is made by American Apparel.
Now, if your scholar is going to be styling “organic” or “Eco-friendly” made in the USA clothes in their back to school wardrobe, you are doubly frustrated with your search! Why is it so hard to find organic, made in the USA clothing for kids that is in sizes larger than toddler?!
Don’t throw in the (organic) towel yet… There are retailers and manufactures that sell kids organic or Eco-friendly clothing sizes 6 and up that are American made.
Garden Kids makes all of their children’s clothes in the US. They carry boys and girls organic clothes sizes 6-12, as well as smaller sizes. Their pajamas are all made with out using flame retardants.
Earth Creations makes and sells unisex organic cotton Ts up to youth size 10. Their T-shirts are dyed with natural clay dyes.
Lapsaky Organics makes and sells organic cotton underwear, sweatshirts, sweatpants and flame retardant pajamas for boys and girls up to size 18/20.
American Apparel, mentioned above, also carries a selection of kid and youth organic cotton clothing up to size 12
Green Living Editor, USA Love List
Follow Tracey on Twitter @aMothersEarth