More people are becoming aware of the environmental damage caused by Fast Fashion, which means buying second hand clothes has never been trendier!
But, while it’s easy for us adults to wear last year’s winter coat, or re-style a dress to wear to another wedding, it’s not so easy when it comes to kids clothes. So, what can we do to avoid the perils of Fast Fashion when it comes to those who outgrow their clothes quicker than you can say ‘waste pollution’?
Avoid fast fashion – buy second hand
Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised how many people don’t consider buying ‘preloved’ items, or making a bit of money by selling on their own used kids clothes.
The average cost of clothing your child now exceeds £10k, so savvy parents can save an astonishing 50%-90% buying second hand, including top high street brands and designer labels. They can also make money by selling clothes that no longer fit their little ones.
Nowadays there isn’t the same stigma associated with hand-me-downs so make the most of pre-worn clothes that still have plenty of life left in them, Whether it’s saving your kid’s clothes for a sibling, or gifting them to friends and family, give the clothes another chance.
Children’s clothes are often worn for such short periods of time, so they’re usually in very good condition. Plus, younger children aren’t usually concerned with where their clothes come from. So whether they just get a spin in the washer, or are updating with some handy craft work, get the most out of them.
Swap shop savings
Consider attending swap shop events. Often put together by local communities, or parenting organisations, they’re usually in the style of a table top sale. You can bring your unwanted items with you and exchange them for vouchers to use as currency for items you want to ‘buy’.
Alternatively, create your own Swap Shop with friends. Arrange a get together with fellow parents, each bring a bag of clothes, and get swapping while you natter.
Consider brands created to banish fast fashion
Great new brands are emerging in the drive to encourage sustainability. Award winning Petit Pli designs clothes that grow with your child, whilst Love Keep Create re-purposes kid’s clothes into beautiful keepsakes.
We spoke to founder, Josefa Buckland, to ask what inspired her to create the environmentally friendly children’s clothing rental service, Graceful Changes. “It was to help parents who prefer organic, ethically made clothing for their children, access it in an affordable and time saving way. Reusing clothing which is worn for such short periods of time makes such good sense“.
Fancy dress doesn’t mean fancy price
One of the most cost effective savings you can make is to give buying new fancy dress costumes a miss. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean your little one has to miss out on all the fun. But take a second to think what special clothing you might buy over the course of a year. Halloween. Christmas jumpers, pyjamas, school disco. Easter bunny ears. Maybe a Pudsey onesie. World Book Day outfit… That’s a lot of items that’ll be getting worn for as little as an hour – text book ‘fast fashion’!
Check out items being sold online or in second hand store for future events. Consider planning ahead. After a holiday is when people tend to sell the pieces, buy them then for next year. Items are usually cheaper after an event than before it due to there being less demand.
Avoid the ‘BNWT’ regret
We’ve all done it. Seen something in a shop and thought it’d look great for a special occasion, without having a specific special occasion in mind. It sits in the wardrobe and, before you know it, it’s too small. Never been worn. Brand New With Tags!
Firstly, try to only buy clothes with an event in mind, it’s more likely to be worn. Secondly, saving clothes for ‘Sunday Best’ limits the number of chances to wear it. Clothes are made to be worn, whether it’s a trip to the park, or a rainy Sunday on the sofa, let them wear the fancy jumper or sequined dress if they’d like.
If you do find yourself with clothes that have never been worn hidden away at the back of the cupboard, resale has a higher price if the tags are still on. So remember to keep the tags in place until the first time they wear it.