The False economy of children's clothes
Wednesday, 4 April 2018 | Mummy and Little Me
‘That cost how much?!’: The false economy of children’s clothes
If your child is anything like my little one they seem to grow at an alarming rate, and growing up means new clothes.
Since Isobel was born, I have prided myself in being a fairly savvy shopper, trying to get the best price on clothes she seems to only wear for five minutes. eBay, Facebook marketplace, supermarkets, and everyone’s favourite budget high-street store (aka Primarni, Primada…) was doing the trick – albeit with a few nice bits from Next thrown in for ‘best’. Hand-me-downs from friends and my sister-in-law also bulked out Izzy’s wardrobe, which definitely helped.
However, as she grows like a weed (a very pretty one, I must add – although I am biased) I often find myself with piles of clothes that she no longer fits in. So, as the slightly eco-conscious and thrifty mama that I try to be, I try to sell on what I can. I have handed down bits and bobs too, as a couple of friends have also had babies, but they too are drowning in oceans of baby clothes.
When it comes to selling, I have learnt this: supermarket and high street clothes do not hold their value and sell for pittance, if they sell at all. (The same goes for most baby accessories too, FYI.) Therefore, I have come to the decision that when it comes to children’s clothes, sometimes it really does pay to spend more.
There are certain brands (Joules, JoJo Maman Bebe, Little Bird, etc) that have their own dedicated re-selling pages on Facebook, as are their cult-status. Pop a certain dress (dinosaurs, anyone?) on the JoJo page a couple of months ago and you would have almost certainly caused a frenzy, with more people in a virtual queue than when Take That tickets get released.
Yes these clothes do cost a lot in initial outlay - £15 for a t-shirt, £20+ for a dress is not uncommon – but you are likely to get around half of that back when you resell it, if not more if it is a particularly wanted item; for example, Joules have recently released a Peter Rabbit range to tie in with the new movie, and people have been snapping up items so they are sold out, and now items are going online for more than they cost new. The clothes do generally (with a few exceptions) last a bit longer too as they are of slightly more robust quality and less mass-produced.
As well as the good these products do your pocket, second-hand clothes (or ‘pre-loved’, which seems to be the more euphemistic term) do the environment good too. According to Pinterest, fashion is the second highest polluting industry in the world after oil, and with all the chemicals, materials and power used making them, it’s not hard to see why. Another fact that I found staggering was that in America and the UK every year, millions and millions of tonnes of clothing is simply thrown away instead of being re-worn or recycled. Now I am no green goddess and I love a shopping trip as much as the next girl, but surely if we could pass clothes on instead of putting them in the bin, it would do the planet some good?
So, my advice for this blog would be, if you can, perhaps think about spending a little more on your little one’s clothes as, in the long run, it will benefit you and the environment too. And please, feel free to use this as a way of justifying cute-but-expensive clothes for the little people to your husbands/boyfriends/partners… J