“What is your biggest struggle with being sustainable with your kids?”
The fashion industry has a bad reputation when it comes to sustainability. With kids, the term “Fast Fashion” also has a whole other meaning: they also wear out and grow out of their clothes FAST. Here are some solutions we found to soften the sustainability vs clothing issue.
Mend & Repair:
Think repair first instead of just replace! Did you just make a face? Don’t worry - we’re not handy with a thread and needle either. So, why not cover up that hole with some hard-wearing patches! You can get standard iron-on squares that can be cut to size (support a social enterprise and get them from Stitched Up), or go for a funky design your kids will love, made by a small company - this Etsy page gives you lots of options. You can either iron on or do some rough-and-ready stitching around the edges to keep them in place - or even both for extra security.
Does the situation require some thread? Perhaps you have a button or hem issue on your hands? Your local dry-cleaner or stitch fix type shop often have quite affordable rates for children's' clothing and depending on the issue at hand it can be well worth giving the item in question that extra breath of life!
Show some Love to Preloved:
Some parents are lucky, they already have a steady stream of hand-me-downs established from friends, cousins, or siblings. But if you haven’t got an already established clothing ‘gravy-train’ set up, that doesn’t mean you can’t partake! We asked our followers who responded to our question where they ‘get the best pre-loved duds’ and here are the most popular recommendations:
- Vinted - a whole community for pre-loved fashion, not only can you buy, you can also sell your preloved clothes (adults too!)
- Fara Kids - Their 41 shops offer a wide range of Kids clothing (and toys too!)
- Sweet Pea Preloved Clothes - around since 2010, they offer a wide range of childrens preloved clothing, high street to designer, newborn to 12 years at a fraction of the retail price.
- Facebook Marketplace
- Your Local Thrift & Charity Stores
Rent, Frock, Repeat:
Is your little in a growth spurt or perhaps flexing their inner fashionista? Perhaps renting is the better fit! From everyday clothes, to special occasion and designer labels, here are just a few of the options for you to explore:
- The Little Loop - the UK's first rental marketplace for kids clothing
- Bundlee - A sustainable subscription for modern parents. Rent your baby's wardrobe and swap as they grow!
- Graceful Changes - making beautiful, organic clothing more affordable for families
- My Wardrobe HQ - is the UK’s first fashion rental marketplace, offering high end labels.
Create a Capsule Wardrobe:
There are different methods or ways to approach creating a capsule wardrobe, but the main benefits are the same: you’re likely to spend less on clothing, have less clothing pieces overall (saving space!), and save time on picking outfits and doing laundry (are you sold yet?). Not to mention the most important feature, which is showing our children that we can survive - no, THRIVE with less!
This article from The Green Parent gives some great tips on how to get started, as well as a capsule list for the upcoming Fall/Winter season should you want to take on the challenge!
So there you have it! Kids fashion is a sustainability challenge, no doubt - but there are some options out there for you to try. Of course, buying pre-loved may not always be an option if you are on the hunt for something specific or for a special occasion, but planning out exactly what you need and buying second-hand for the rest of your kiddo’s closet will free up some budget to buy these new and special pieces from ethical and sustainable brands, and once they’re done their job at your house don’t forget to pass or sell them on!
Kate & Anne Marie