In the UK, around 350,000 tonnes of used textiles get thrown out and end up in our landfills each year and a lot of that is children’s clothing.
There is quite a lot of talk in the media, that as a conscious consumer, you should “Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.” [Vivienne Westwood] But how do you do that with children’s clothes?
Yes, of course, you could buy slightly less but you still have to keep buying new clothes for them because they grow! They grow a lot and they grow out of their clothes fast! So, no matter how well you buy, you still end up going through quite a large amount of clothing.
So what should you do?
- Get friends to give their kids used clothing to you, and then you pass those on to your friends etc.
- Buy used if possible
- Mend. There are a lot of online tutorials available that you can learn simple mending techniques from. Otherwise, simple iron-on patches are great for an easy mend.
- When you buy new clothes, make sure you choose carefully - buy clothes that:
- will last, have sturdy seams and good quality fabrics
- have elasticated waists
- have adjustable straps
- have a fairly loose fit or extra sleeve or leg-length
- are gender neutral (makes passing on easier)
- Donate. Recycle. Don’t throw away. When a garment is no longer wearable, donate them to a local charity and if they are beyond wear or repair make sure to recycle them. Bear in mind that natural materials are easier to recycle than synthetic ones, so buy organic cotton whenever possible. This, not only makes recycling of your old clothing easier, it also protects the workers and the environment during the growing and production process.
Whatever you do, don’t throw it away.
As part of an effort to reduce textile waste created by children’s clothing, we at Jake + Maya [Kids] have just launched a Kickstarter campaign that addresses the issue of kids growth and clothing.
We have launched a collection of kids clothing that is designed to grow with children as they grow. We have included adjustable features wherever possible to maximize the garment's lifespan and simple extension packs have also been included with each garment, to encourage parents to adopt a make-do-and-mend mentality.
There will be online tutorials available to teach parents how to extend and/or mend their children’s garment but understanding that not all have the time to do this, they have also got a mending/recycling service available.
By increasing the lifespan of a garment by 9 months, we can reduce its environmental footprint by 20-30%.
This campaign was created to help raise awareness about textile waste and to help encourage parents to be more mindful of their families textile consumption.
It is important that, as children grow, we teach them to value their things and by caring for their clothes, you are showing them that you care for them, their clothes and the environment.
“Good Habits learnt at youth makes all the difference.” [Aristotle]
More details about the Jake + Maya [Kids] Campaign.