If you buy handmade or other branded ethical and sustainable clothing you will know that it isn't the cheapest option out there. To me, buying ethically is more about buying less, better quality clothing that cares about people and the planet and less about making sure my kids have the latest fashions and trends. Buying less means that you might spend the same amount but have fewer items in your wardrobe.
A study earlier this year predicted that when Britons spring cleaned their wardrobes they would send 235 million items of clothing to landfill. I can’t even begin to imagine what that amount of clothing looks like!
In this blog post I look at various ways you can make sure that your handmade clothing gets a new lease of life after your child has outgrown it - and make sure that your handmade clothing isn’t one of the 235 million items heading for landfill this year.
1. Pass It On
The obvious thing to do is to pass all your outgrown clothes down to younger siblings or friends children. If you have friends with children of all different ages it could mean that clothes go round and round until they literally fall apart.
I can fondly recall the suitcase under my mums bed that contained the clothes handed down to us from cousins and friends. There were all sorts of lovely things that used to come out of that box - skirts and blouses that my Mum would never have bought for us but that friends used to give to us were stored carefully and brought out when me, or my sisters, had a growth spurt. It seemed like a treasure chest of exceitment when I was small and I think the mustard blouse and black skirt from the suitcase was a favourite outfit when I was 9!
Carrying on that tradition, I have a big box of outgrown clothes in a wardrobe and when a new season arrives, I bring out the box and find the 'new' clothes for my children. Whatever I don't use is passed on to my sisters and they pass them on to friends or cousins. All the baby clothes we have use have been passed from my children to my nieces and back again as either me or my sisters had a new baby. I think they went through 4 babies before we decided they were probably past it and we should buy new!
2. Sell Them Online
We have all heard the saying “buy cheap, buy twice” right? Well that is especially true of fast fashion and cheap clothing. In my experience, better quality clothes last longer and hold their value. In practical term this means that they and be passed on and resold several times - and in some cases can become quite sought after.
I promote buying better quality, ethical and sustainable clothing - not only is is better for the planet but it can also be better for your wallet too. Quality clothes - especially handmade clothes- can really hold their resale value.
One of the best thing about buying quality handmade clothes is that they have a really good resale value. sought after in dedicated Facebook groups. Check first if that maker you bought from has a dedicated selling page. You can sell all preloved Tutti Frutti Clothing things in the Tutti Frutti Clothing Members Club. You can also sell them in numerous Facebook groups. I have listed a few of my favourite, most active groups:
- Handmade Clothes Resales - a place to buy and sell some gorgeous handmade clothes from smaller sellers and numerous 'work at home mums'
- Preloved WAHM Goods - one of the bigger and more active groups. A great place to buy a whole range of reasonably priced, beautiful handmade kids clothes!
- New WAHM Goods - in case you buy something and can’t return it! Sell on new goods here
If you do buy and sell via a facebook group please do remember when buying from Facebook groups to always use PayPal and pay using the Goods and Services.
Along with Facebook there are numerous other online selling site - ebay, gumtree, preloved.co.uk to name a few. If you have a search you will find loads of great handmade and quality ethical clothing for bargain prices!
3. NCT Nearly New Sales and Mum2Mum markets
When my eldest was a baby I loved going to our local NCT nearly new sale. I think it was probably the highlight of my year. Twice a year I got to go out alone to shop for new clothes, toys and other bargainous baby things I never knew I needed. As I have grown into motherhood and as my children have grown I realise there is a lots of stuff that is really not necessary when you have a baby. But - NCT and Mum2Mum markets are great places to resell lots of your childrens toys, clothes, books and travel equipment. You can often find some great bargains if you get there early and search hard enough!
4. Take them to a Charity Shop
For anything that you can’t or don’t want to pass on or resell, why not take it to a charity shop? I must admit, I do love going round charity shops. So many bargains to be found and they can be a great way to buy clothes, toys and other household items in an environmentally friendly way.
Charity shops can resell your unwanted clothes with proceeds going to a good cause or, if they can’t resell them they can recycle them. Find out more about what happens to your clothing once you donate it on the Charity Retail website.
5. Specialist Family and Baby Charities
There are numerous charities scattered around the UK that distribute baby and children’s clothing and equipment to families experiencing hardship or in need. It really does depend on the area you live but if you want to use a Baby Bank or similar why not ask your Health Visitor for information or visit http://www.stripeystork.org.uk/babybanks/
You can donate clothing, nappies, moses baskets and lots of other baby items and they will all be put to such good use. We will be donating our double buggy and other baby equiptment to our local baby bank as soon as we don't need them any more. It is a great way to help local families out.