Federica Licini, co-founder and CEO of TreasureHouse, an online community that helps parents swap preloved kids clothes, shares her tips on how to recycle your kids clothes.
The thing about children is they grow: five minutes after you restock their wardrobe, their legs are sticking out of their trouser hems and their shoes are squeezing their toes. There’s no getting around the fact that kids are in constant need of new clothes, but there are ways to ease up on the family purse and manage this incessant demand in more sustainable ways. Here are some solutions to lessen the burden:
1. Old-school hand-me-downs
Oh-so-simple but effective – whether it’s a bagful of baby onesies or a pile of toddler jeans, if your child’s clothes are in good condition there will surely be a friend, family member or school gate buddy more than happy to take them off your hands. Don’t be shy, just ask…
2. Find a Facebook group
Facebook is the perfect forum for finding local parents happy to give a home to outgrown items – try posting in groups dedicated to your local area, school PTA, nursery, NCT group or kids’ extra-curricular clubs.
3. Restock a charity shop
An armful of clean kids’ clothes will go down a treat at your neighbourhood charity shop. Choose one near a school for maximum family footfall. You will find charity shops on most high streets: the most popular include The British Heart Foundation, Oxfam and Cancer Research.
4. Hold a swishing party
Get sustainable AND social by swapping your child’s clothes at a swishing party. Yes, this is a thing. Whether it’s a lunchtime swish in your workplace or a weekend one at home, invite fellow parents along with pre-loved clothes – either a general free-for-all or based on a specific ‘theme’ such as shoes, winter woollies or party frocks. Give your guests one token – e.g. a button – for every item they bring, and they can redeem those on clothes they want to take home.
5. Turn old clothes into new memories
Join the army of refashionistas turning old and outgrown clothes into new items – whether that’s making a memory quilt from babygrows, transforming an old jumper into a stuffed toy or a skirt into a hairband.
6. Join the Treasure House community
This sustainable and convenient new service allows parents to trade pre-loved and unworn kids’ clothes for credits, and shop top quality items from fellow members of the community in return. Offering free doorstep collections in London and prepaid postage across the UK, while strict quality control prevails – clothes that don’t pass the checks are donated to charity. The site already features thousands of items and boasts more than 2,000 happy customers. Find out more at treasurehouse.com
If you are looking to buy some new clothes and would love to support an ethical brand, see our favourite eco brands for kids.