5 ways to shop sustainably for your family in 2021

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Shop small.

Plastic Free Baby is a small shop, hosting lots of independent brands dedicated to eco-friendly and plastic free family living. Small businesses, and those online particularly at the moment, provide a major economic impact to the country when we most need it. It’s so important to support small shops and businesses at this hard time where and when you possibly can. The customer service is often off-the-scale brilliant, and there’s a lovely sense of community created by them through neighbourhood links and social media communities. They often support small artists, artisans and makers of bespoke or unique items. Use the hashtag #shopsmall when you get vocal on social. Share this post and others like it to support small businesses across the UK.  


Shop eco.

We need a fundamental shift in the way that we consume and the products that we consume. We can’t keep buying the same shopping baskets full of single use plastic or plastic children’s toys, and hope that someone else does the hard work required to safeguard the future of our children and children’s children. Why should you be on an eco-friendly shopping mission? Because the world depends on it. For example, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation – a registered charity that campaigns for economic change – showed that clothes account for half a million tons of non-biodegradable microfibres reaching the oceans every year – the equivalent of more than 50 billion plastic bottles (The Independent, 7th June 2019). These are from clothes made from synthetic materials, not natural materials.

The choices we all make, have an impact on what will be consumed in the future - we are all responsible here. We need to contribute to a safe and healthy future for our families, by buying eco-friendly products, made from natural ingredients and materials, that are not harmful to our environment or to humankind.  


Shop ethically.

 I’m an ethical consumer. And I set up Plastic Free Baby to support other parents who are also ethical consumers. We need to shop with businesses that try to do good… 

  • Do good for the environment, through the products they offer.
  • Do good for society (local and global) through ensuring the products offered support workers rights and human rights in the process.
  • Do good through animal welfare, by shopping for products that do not test on animals and have animal welfare at the heart of production. Shopping vegan and organic where possible.
  • Do good for body and soul, by shopping for products which champion toxin free cosmetics and other products.


Shop low waste.

Try to buy from shops that minimise the environmental impact of our consumer habits. Not only does this way of purchasing avoid many of the single use plastics so famous now for littering and toxicfying our world, but they also support product lines full of reusable, zero waste alternatives ideal for supporting a low waste lifestyle. Low waste and zero waste product lines can also provide products made of natural materials which, for example, biodegrade. These shops help us to tread more lightly on the earth. 


Shop sustainably.

Above all, all of those shopping habits and platforms, help us to shop more sustainably. By making clear consumer choices to buy quality goods, this helps to reduce waste. We’ve all heard of fast fashion, but I think that the same accusation can be made for the baby and kids toy and good market too. All of our babies / kids have been given mass made imported plastic toys from a well-intentioned family member or friend, that break almost as soon as they are played with. Buying quality reduces waste. Buy less, buy better. 

Choosing sustainable products also helps, for example by choosing products that have been responsibly sourced with the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides, such as organic products. Consider buying secondhand where it’s possible (but be careful with second hand plastic kids toys, as over time plastic breaks down and can become even more harmful). Avoid synthetic fibres which have serious environmental implications.

And lastly, online shopping has now become the new normal and a lifeline at times over the past year; some say that it is actually greener and more sustainable than going to a big shopping centre by car, which has a large environmental impact.


You can shop by values on Plastic Free Baby with these quick links:





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