Looking for a more sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to cheap, low quality, disposable kids fashion? Maybe it's time your family went "pre-loved"!
Being a younger sibling, everything was pre-loved for me! And I loved it!
I grew up wearing "pre-loved" clothes. As a younger sibling I used to get really excited on the day that the bags and boxes were bought down from the loft, containing my older sister's clothes from circa 4 years ago (or often longer - she was a lot taller than me!), and I got to rummage through them and pick out my favourites to wear straight away. As a child with very sensitive skin who hated the itch and scratch of brand-new fabrics (and who hated being taken shopping for new clothes anyway!), these super soft worn-in clothes were a dream come true! Today as adults, my older sister still passes her clothes on to me, and I am very grateful - I still hate going shopping for new clothes, and she has much better fashion sense than I do!
Today, in a world where finding sustainable alternatives and reducing plastic waste are becoming ever more serious issues, the benefits of choosing pre-loved fashion are multiplying, especially for children, who grow out of their clothes so quickly. I recently came across an amazing UK-based social enterprise called StillOnTrend who are on a mission to help parents earn and save money and the planet, who have very kindly taken the time to share their ethos with me.
Team StillOnTrend tell me:
"The rise of preloved children's apparel and toys"
"Did you know that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, after the oil industry? And that 90% of toys are made of plastic, most of which cannot be recycled?
With this mind, it is perhaps not surprising that preloved (or pre-owned/resale) apparel and other items are becoming mainstream. A 2019 study by a major retailer indicated that the resale apparel market grew 21x faster than the retail apparel market over the previous three years, with 64% of women buying or willing to buy preloved products, compared to 45% three years before."
"At StillOnTrend, we believe selling or buying preloved has many benefits for the family. These include:
1. Save or make money
"Raising kids is rewarding, but as we know, it can be costly. A Guardian study found that UK parents spend an estimated £11,000 on clothes and toys over the lifetime of a child. Moreover, children outgrow their clothes, toys or books so quickly, often before they are worn out. By selling outgrown or unwanted items, a parent is to be able to make some money, whilst enabling other parents to save on these purchases. By buying preloved, parents can save on items their kids outgrow quickly or that may not be used often."
2. Save the planet
"In the UK, an estimated 300,000 tonnes of clothes and 8 million toys end up in landfills each year. Meanwhile, only 10% to 20% of used clothes donated to charity shops are actually sold in their shops. In addition, apparel manufacturing is resource-intensive. For instance, around 20,000 litres of water is needed to make just one pair of jeans and one t-shirt - it would take more than 13 years to drink this amount."
3. Declutter the home
"Selling preloved items enables parents to declutter our homes guilt-free. Create more room for the kids as they grow, by selling on items they have already outgrown and are still perfectly usable, instead of throwing them away."
4. Educate our children
"Buying or selling preloved items provides an opportunity to teach our kids a valuable, lifelong lesson on sustainability - that resources are scarce and to be used wisely, and that the planet is precious and needs to be actively protected."
" StillOnTrend.com is an online parent-to-parent marketplace to sell and buy quality preloved children's clothes, toys and books, with free listing on any number of items. We connect parents to other like-minded parents who care about the planet and are keen to instill the value of sustainability in our children. We are a UK-based social enterprise, and on a mission to help parents earn and save money and the planet."
Visit their website to start your family on the journey towards more sustainable, eco-friendly kids fashion choices!