I don’t buy new clothes for kids — this is how I pull it off

(Photo: Courtesy of Reina Drill)

“I love you that dress!” My young daughter modeled preloved flock in a kid’s clothing exchange hosted by her friends in the park, said. “It brings blue in your eyes.”

I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that dozens of fashion items that would have been a cast aside if she didn’t went directly into the hands of the kids who loved them-ME-and sounded like a mini. So I laughed.

Hosting a children’s clothing exchange is one of many ways to keep children from buying new clothing while having fun teaching them about the social and environmental costs of the fashion industry.

Here is a complete list of all the new items I bought for my kids, now 8 years old and 11 years old, in my lifetime.

  • Mandatory bands and sports uniforms
  • Socks and underwear (although I am also a used item)
  • Some attractive items from local ethical designers
  • A winter coat when a used coat is not found on time. (I jumped into Patagonia because of their ethical practices.)

It’s very easy and real to avoid buying new clothes for kids if you know the trade tricks. And doing so saves money reducing your fashion footprint and teaches you a little one, some lifelong lessons.

When canceling new clothes

Fashion can be fun, but it can also hurt people, animals, and the planet. When kids find out, they may no longer want the latest looks from the mall anyway.

Most of our clothes are made in developing countries where people often work long hours due to low wages in terrible conditions. Many of them also do not have enough income to pay for basic human needs such as food, shelter and, ironically, clothing. The majority of these workers are young women, and some have to take their children to work because they cannot afford to raise children. To make matters worse, some children are forced to work. They are often given the task of leveraging their little hands, as they sew with sequins. Do your kids want a sequined shirt with a loose hem if they know it was made by the child’s age?

Your child will also probably not want fashion items made of products from animals that are suffering. One day my kids watched a video by people for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), where I showed a fluffy white rabbit screaming in pain that their fur had rip for Angora wool. I walked for a while while watching. My youngest had a nightmare of failing to rescue a rabbit. Unfortunately, most furs and leathers come from developing countries that have or do not comply with animal welfare laws.

The fashion industry plays an important role in climate change and environmental degradation.It contributes the most 10% of world carbon emissions, Contaminated waterways When Tree down chops from ancient and endangered forests Make the dough. Facts can shock your family.For example, it can be taken 1500 liters of water to make one pair of jeans.. Drinking water for 1,000 days per person!

Always buying new clothes for your child can be economically and emotionally expensive. In the United States in 2020, parents spent $ 1,068 per average child in the United States on 52 pieces of clothing and 6 pairs of shoes, according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association. The numbers seem to be similar in Canada.

If your child has lost, hurt, or quickly overgrown expensive new clothes and shoes, you know how frustrating it is. Refraining from new items can save you cash and stress, and it all we can benefit from lately as we face runaway inflation and dire world events. increase.

One day, when the new winter coat I bought didn’t come back from school, I panicked and involved the kids in a spectacular night hunt with headlamps and tears. (I finally found it on the roof of the school. It’s still a mystery how I got there.) If the coat was priced at $ 20 instead of $ 220, it would have been colder.

Top tips for help curate your child’s ethical closet

1. Source used

The most obvious way to avoid buying new clothes is to get them pre-owned, and there are many ways to do this.

In addition to shopping, your Local antiques Alternatively, you can buy your favorite children’s clothing from online consignment stores such as Poshmark and threadUP, or from buying and selling sites such as Facebook Marketplace.

You may even be able to find a local Facebook group where people give away trade and children’s clothing. I am a member of several such groups and are always trading. In fact, someone recently picked up my youngest outgrew native shoes and left me some pasta and sauce. Dinner = I did it!

Swap is a great way to get new gear when you participate in planning and changing clothing. You can plan your own one in host swaps of many community groups or in your home, backyard or neighborhood park. Invite all your child’s friends and meet your playdate obligations in one fell swoop.

Finally, you can ensure a stable flow of used unexploded ordnance by finding some buds. My kids regularly get clothes from friends at the same school and when they’re done give them to kids in the same neighborhood.

2. Borrowing or rent

Would you like to go to a big family celebration now that they are allowed again? Or plan a family photo shoot? Instead of spending money on gorgeous outfits that your child can wear only once, you can try to borrow from a friend or from an online or physical rental boutique.

The pandemic has brought dampers to the thriving online clothing rental industry, but as people begin to catch up with the postponed celebrations, it can be expected to recover again.Canadian company Fitz Roy There are several US companies that offer some children’s clothing and rent children’s clothing exclusively in anticipation of what immigration to the north will look like.

Another Canadian company, TradleOffers a sustainable baby clothing subscription. Simply get a bunch of organic baby clothes from a Canadian brand delivered to your door, sign up, dress your baby to them, take tons of cute pictures and return the clothes to those outgrows your little one ..

3. Reuse and repair

After my eldest son grew up, she cut them off with her knees and turned her jeans into shorts. Later, she used scrap jeans for craft projects such as making doll clothes. She also sews leggings (as is often the case) when her knees are punctured and begins to make her own clothes on her birthday with a sewing machine. You can be tempted to throw away damaged clothes, but it’s usually quick and easy to repair them. Also, if the work is too complicated, you can take the item to the tailor.

And you shouldn’t throw away your clothes. More and more companies are now able to recycle, including fast fashion retailers, thrift shops, and bottle recycling depots.Some municipalities etc. Markham, Ontario.We also provide textile recycling.

4. Reduce

One rainy day, I counted the number of clothing items that my child and each of us had (not including socks and underwear). Each of us had over 100 items.This inspired us to try Project 333 Challenge the minimalist clothingIncludes dressing in 33 items or less for 3 months and putting everything else in the box. At the end of the challenge, I realized that I only needed 33 items. We had our favorite item and it was much easier to decide what to wear in the morning. We gave away or sold most of the items in our box. By adopting minimalism, you will be less motivated to buy new fashion items.

And when you shop, hopefully second-hand, you can look for high-quality items that will last a long time. The 30 Wears Challenge encourages you to buy only clothing that you wear 30 times. This means that you have to like it enough to wear it 30 times and have to withstand several washes without falling apart.

Sure, sometimes my kids complain that they don’t go to the mall for new clothes. But they also love the thrill of searching, and we find many brand new items in second-hand stores. Plus, they have their own money from the paper route and they are happy how they can spend it. My eldest son bought his own school hoodie this year, but they haven’t bought new fashion items otherwise. I tell them they are ahead of the curve: Research show The used clothing market will grow significantly over the next few years, driven by young, environmentally friendly people. Now honing your thrifting skills will provide them-and other people, animals and planet wells in the future.

Linadril is the author of Fashion Forward: Aiming for a Sustainable Style, A new non-fiction book for kids ages 9-11.

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I don’t buy new clothes for kids — this is how I pull it off

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