Seven Sustainable Picks for The New School Year



Better Back-to-School Shopping

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It’s been about fifteen years since I last shopped for school supplies, but I recall the process as being truly thrilling. Lisa Frank! Hello Kitty! Gel pens! Holographic folders! And while the excitement remains, I’m a bit more discerning about my purchases. Back-to-school season is about new beginnings, potential, and a clean slate. Maybe this year, that clean slate can be a green slate — shopping differently by looking for organic, compostable, refillable, and reusable items.

Try starting with these zero-waste school supplies. Just for you, 20% off affordable, organic, Fair Trade clothes with code BLUEDOT20. Brooklyn-made, first-day-of-school-worthy organic cotton clothes in adorable prints. Exceptionally effective (and cute) labels to help your kids keep track of their things. Beeswax crayons. And more. Of course, the best place to start shopping is always in your own house. You never know what you might find! 

Best wishes for an edifying year, and happy shopping!

–Elizabeth Weinstein, Marketplace Editor

Two cardboard boxes containing unpainted pencils and colored pencils labeled with the brand-name Wisdom Supply Co.: Zero Waste for Good

Wisdom Supply Co. School Supplies

In 2016, two activists based in Northern California started Wisdom Supply Co. Their aim: to create a school supply company that reduces plastic pollution, and teaches children to treat goods as important, not disposable. The B Corp designs waste-free, reusable, repairable, non-toxic school-supplies.

Two food containers, a pair of slip-on tennis shoes, a sweater, a box of crayons, and a water bottle all feature prominent colorful labels with frogs and the name Jamie.

Mabel’s Labels

The most sustainable items are the ones you keep, but it can be particularly hard to hang onto kids’ stuff. Items like lunch boxes and water bottles are easily forgotten at school, dance lessons, and friends' houses. To solve this problem in her own life, Bluedot's editorial director and former Today’s Parent editor turned to Mabel’s Labels.

A grouping of school supplies made from bamboo, including a ruler compass, pencil, pencil sharpener, and eraser.

EarthHero Home Goods

EarthHero stocks beeswax crayons, recycled plastic scissors, bamboo rulers and utensils, all kinds of lunchbox supplies, and more. We love shopping this eclectic online marketplace of thoughtfully vetted goods. A climate neutral B Corp and 1% for the Planet member, EarthHero carries everything from cleaning products to kitchen goods to underthings to dog toys to gifts.

A smiling child in blue tie-dye shorts and a yellow shirt sits on a skateboard while a bigger kid in purple tie-dye shorts stands next to the skateboard.

Mightly Organic Kids’ Clothing

Mightly’s mission — “Kid-friendly styles in Earth-friendly fabrics at family-friendly prices” — sounds simple enough. But we haven’t found many companies that pull it off like Mightly. The entire line is Fair Trade Certified, made from GOTS Certified organic cotton, and you'll save 20% off when you use code BLUEDOT20 at checkout. 

A gray wool tennis shoe with yellow, orange, pink, and teal eyelets for the laces.

Allbirds Shoes

“Love.” “Swear by.” “A convert.” Bluedotters feel strongly about Allbirds, the Certified B Corp that makes breathable, washable sneakers from merino wool. Perhaps our all-time favorite tennies, they stand up to everything kids put them through, plus they’re machine-washable.

Dropps detergents


Keep clothes clean with an upgraded laundry routine from Dropps, whose detergent and Oxi Booster we swear by. A family in the textile manufacturing business started Dropps when they couldn’t find a laundry detergent that treated both the Earth and their fabrics with equal care. The company is now a certified B Corp.

Terra Thread

Terra Thread’s founders — father and daughter team Vik and Vizan Giri — say their mission is to “create the world’s most affordable, durable, sustainable, and ethically produced backpacks and bags, while having a positive impact on the world.”

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Bluedot Living Magazine is a sustainable living magazine and website with locations throughout North America.
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