“Sustainability” is one of those words that can sometimes feel like a vacant platitude. That’s only natural. With every other product under the sun being plastered with the sustainability label, it can be easy to pass it off as just another marketing trend. But shopping sustainably is important not just for your own conscience but for the future of the next generation. If you don’t know where to start, these tips can help you get prepared for the sustainability revolution and shop for products with confidence.

Why Not Consider Your Own Habits?
Sustainability is a two-way street. While we need manufacturers to be transparent and sincere with their sustainability efforts, customers need to consider what products are actually sustainable for their lifestyle. A dress made entirely from recycled materials isn’t exactly being used efficiently if you only wear it once, and the carbon trail of delivering it might actually make it less sustainable than alternative options.

Sustainable clothing is clothing that’s practical to your lifestyle, but things are lucky a bit easier as far as kids are concerned. While the rapid age at which kids grow means that they might not get as many uses out of their clothing as you like, getting more value from your purchase is as simple as passing it down to their younger siblings or to other kids who might benefit from it.

Part of the reason that sustainability is sometimes treated as such an ambiguous and amorphous term is that it’s such a complex subject. When we talk about sustainability, we’re discussing the complex relationships between environmental stewardship, workers’ rights, and practices that reflect humanely on both animals and people. Untangling those considerations can be incredibly complicated, especially on the consumer end of things.

That said, being sustainable doesn’t have to mean running complex calculus to help you evaluate the cost-benefit analysis of every purchase you make. Instead, think of sustainability in terms of what it means to you. Finding a brand that aligns with your own values can be a powerful way to encourage sustainability and promote a more ethical approach to shopping that holds brands accountable for their decisions. In a capitalist society, loyalty is the ultimate currency, but it still needs to be earned.

Find Something That You Love
It’s important to remember that living sustainably doesn’t have to mean living like an ascetic - and the notion that it does actually hurts the sustainability movement. And the more that people normalize the notion of living sustainably, the more traction it will gain in the greater clothing market.

Finding clothing that fits your own sense of style shouldn’t supersede everything else, but it should also be a top priority. Because no matter how sincere your intentions are, a coat that’s gathering mothballs in your closet isn’t going to be doing anyone any good. When seeking out sustainable clothing for you or your kids, consider first what you’d wear. Only then should you start considering the ethical implications of each article of clothing.

Luckily for most of today’s consumers, the growing market for sustainable clothing means that there’s a multitude of options for just about everyone. Many brands are even expanding the market to more specialized audiences. Mon Coeur, for instance, is committed to the mission of offering durable, stylish, and fully sustainable clothing targeted towards young children. These sort of businesses may currently be boutique and specialized, but they’re also becoming increasingly mainstream. If you’re looking for where to get started with sustainable clothes, Mon Coeur perfectly threads the needle between fashion, pragmatism, and environmental conscientiousness.