Q: My children keep growing and I always seem to be buying them new clothes!
How can I save some money and make it less harmful to the planet?
A: Children’s clothing is an area of huge expense – and environmental impact.
It can be tempting to pick up some cheap, fast fashion for your kids.
But inexpensive, throwaway clothing is an environmental disaster. In the UK alone, around 300,0000 tonnes of clothing are burned or buried in landfill annually.
One of the best pieces of advice is to try and buy less for your little ones but go for quality, durable pieces.
The longer a piece of clothing is worn, the less harm it does to the environment. Here are some other tips …
Shop smarter by buying second-hand.
You can find real bargains.
Oxfam has a great second-hand children’s wear shop online.
Founded by a mum of four, Sweet Pea Preloved Clothes is an online outlet offering high street and designer kids’ clothes at a fraction of their original retail prices.
Look out too for Katie’s Kids Clothes or Second Snuggle.
And don’t forget to sell on any items that are still in reasonable condition or donate them to your school PTFA.
Look for eco brands
If you want to buy new, consider seeking out responsible brands that put sustainability at the heart of their business.
Frugi makes delightful clothes from organic cotton, which is much better for the natural world than standard cotton.
Another amazing organic brand is Toby Tiger, which makes joyful clothing for babies and children.
John Lewis sells the Swedish Polarn O. Pyert range, known for its sustainable credentials and vibrant retro styling.
Extend kids’ clothing
It’s now possible to dress your little ones in clothes that grow with them.
Founded by an aeronautical engineer, Petit Pli offers a unique range of hardwearing, water-repellent clothes for babies, toddlers and kids – made with cleverly folded fabrics that you stretch over time.
You can even lease an outfit from the company for £5 a month.
The ingenious footwear designers at British brand Pip and Henry are currently designing a children’s shoe that can extend by a size and a half.
It should hopefully be available next year.
Take good care
One way to make clothing last longer – and reduce its environmental impact – is to look after it properly.
Only wash a garment when you really have to.
Clothes can often just be spot-cleaned, saving on the laundry pile.
When you do wash, try to do so at 30C or lower.