When Annie Kaskade was looking for eco-friendly clothing for two school-aged boys, she found an abundance of baby and adult clothes, but little for children between the ages of 2 and 12.
"It really seemed to stop age 8 or size eight," Kaskade said.
As a result Kaskade and her husband Jim founded Green Edge Kids, a Solana-Beach based online boutique specializing in eco-friendly fashion for children. The company has a full range of trendy yet practical clothes, and also carries an array of Earth-friendly accessories such as hats, socks, sunscreen, water bottles, and bath and body care products. Kaskade also said that for most Internet-based businesses to succeed they must have a niche, and she hopes she is offering something unique. Although eco-friendly clothing can be purchased at many conventional outlets, Green Edge Kids offers a wide selection of children's fashions in one location. Their Web site also explains the environmental benefits of buying eco-friendly clothing in their "Being Green" section.
Green Edge Kids also offers a vast array of clothing for boys, which is unusual because most available eco-friendly clothing is for girls. Kaskade is especially excited about Green Edge Kid's new hemp cargo pants for boys, which come in three colors. Hemp, which is easily organically grown because of its natural pest resistance, is three times as strong as cotton and well-suited for the wear and tear of the playground. Green Edge Kids is also offering organic cotton premium denim pants for boys and girls. Although organic cotton denims have been emerging for adults, kid's lines have been slow to catch up.
Customers may want to take note of the line Sustainable Kids, whose trendy kids clothes go all the way up to size 12. Kaskade is also excited about the clothing line Twirls and Twigs, which uses recycled fabric as well as soy and organic cotton materials.
"Girls love the dresses because they are princess dresses," Kaskade said of the line. Lola and James is another eco-friendly line available at Green Edge Kids. The Southern California-based line uses cut-up vintage adult T-shirts and creates children's clothing out of the scraps.
"It's ridiculously cute," said Kaskade of the clothes. "Because of that process there are no two that are alike." Other eco-friendly lines available at Green Edge Kids are Fig, Kate Quinn, Misha Lulu and Puravida NYC, among many others.
The materials used in the clothing sold by Green Edge Kids are eco-friendly materials such as hemp, bamboo, Tencel, soybean fibers, wild silk, wool, recycled fabrics and organic cotton. The clothes are also either dye-free, naturally dyed, meaning the dyes are from Earth clays, minerals, or plants and are non-toxic, or low-impact, which are synthetic dyes that are more efficient than conventional dyes.
Most of the manufacturing for Green Edge Kids is done in Southern California, which decreases the pollution creating in transportation. Green Edge Kids has also specified on their Web site which clothing companies are Fair Trade Certified or sweatshop-free, meaning they are manufactured by companies who employ reasonable working conditions and wages for those who make their clothes. Customers can also shop for clothes made in the United States and therefore supports domestic employment and decreases environmental shipping impacts.