Back to School

Last updated: August 2017




Ethical Checklist: Back to School 



With the bank holiday over, it's time to get those last minute back to school essentials. Whether, your kids have grown out of their school shoes over the long summer break or you simply need to pick up a few books for the new term, we have your ethical essentials covered. 




Shopping for school shoes can be a laborious task, with many hours spent trawling through the shopping centre. Skip the high street and pick one of our ethical shoes retailers, many of which you can buy from with a click of a button.

Our Best Buys for vegan, flat, black shoes were: Blackspot, Eco Vegan Shoes, Freerangers, Bourgeois Boheme, Vegetarian Shoes,Wills, Beyond Skin, and Ethical Wares.


Image: Shoes


Similarly, our special ethical shopping guide to trainers helps you find that perfect fit to match your PE kit. The Best Buys for fashion trainers are Ethletic (which are all vegan) and Veja’s vegan trainers whilst Vivobarefoot and Inov-8 are the most ethical sports trainers that we rate. 




These school essentials won’t carry themselves – you need to find a sturdy bag that won’t break with the weight of a heavy book.


Image: Backpack


There are plenty of ethical options in our guide to rucksacks which are similarly easy to find on the high street. Fjallraven is a popular choice amongst youngsters. 



Uniform & PE Kit


We have just updated our clothing guide, just in time for the start of term. Whilst we don't recommend many clothing shops on the high street, we recognise they may be the practical option for some people.


Image: Uniform


Therefore for high street retailers, we recommend Marks & Spencer and H&M which both have ‘back to school’ ranges. 





Make sure your kid is prepped with all the right books. We suggest ditching Amazon and instead using independent or secondhand booksellers.


Image: School books


If that isn’t convenient, why not use the ease of Hive Books* which donates a small percentage of your cost to a local bookseller.  



Waterproof Jackets


If August has been anything to go by, it is important to come armed with a waterproof. We recommend Patagonia which has an extensive children's range of jackets. 


Image: waterproofs


Patagonia is a B-Corp, or ‘Benefit Corporation’. This means employees, communities and the environment rank alongside shareholders in decision making processes.

In 2015, Patagonia increased its number of Fair Trade products from 33 to 192, made in India, Sri Lanka and Los Angeles, California. The company is now looking to enrol other factories in the Fair Trade program in Thailand, Vietnam, Colombia and Mexico. 

See our guide to waterproof jackets for more information. 










*Ethical Consumer makes a small amount of money from your purchase. This goes to fund our research and campaigning. We ethically screen all the sites we link to.


Why Buy Ethically?

The Vote in Your Pocket

Find out how quick and easy it is to use your consumer power.

Read More



Ethical made easy

Detailed ethical ratings for over 40,000 companies, brands and products, plus Ethical Consumer magazine.

30 day trial subscription - find out more