87 percent of all textiles in the world end up in landfills. To make matters worse, only 13 percent of all the garments that are thrown away are ever recycled. Those are frightening numbers.
The good news is that there are ways to reduce your family’s impact on the environment. One way is to become more mindful of the clothes your children wear.
Opting for sustainable wool, organic cotton, or cashmere baby clothes can reduce your family’s carbon footprint. So can choosing quality over quantity, and supporting clothing companies who adhere to slow fashion principles.
Look for Better Quality Clothes
Although it seems counterintuitive to shell out more money for clothes while you’re on a budget, looking for quality and not quantity can actually save you money in the long run – and it’s a more sustainable way to buy your baby’s clothes.
Not only does higher-quality clothing last longer, but it will retain its value if you decide to resell it or pass it on. When you buy your baby clothes, look for stores that follow slow and sustainable fashion principles. If you’re not sure, the stitching in the clothing is a good indicator of quality.
Better quality clothes will have tighter seams and more stitches per inch. Try gently pulling the garment apart at the seam from the inside – if you can see gaps between the stitches, the garment is low quality. You should also feel the material – it’s not too difficult to tell if the item is a fast fashion garment or not.
Be a Conscious Consumer
One of the best ways to ensure that your baby’s clothes are having less of an impact on the environment is to choose sustainable fabrics that are grown in a more environmentally friendly way.
For example, organic cotton will be grown without harmful pesticides or chemicals that could harm the people who come into contact with it or the environment, and natural fibres like cashmere and wool are sustainable and biodegradable.
To check what fabric your baby’s clothes are made from, check the labels and read the composition of the fabric.
Look out for organic cotton that has been colored with harsh dyes – rather choose companies that use eco-friendly dyes, and make sure you buy local to reduce the carbon footprint associated with shipping clothes in from overseas.
Buy Secondhand or Swap
The best way to reduce a garment’s carbon footprint is to buy it secondhand – this means that no additional resources were used to manufacture the item or get it to you.
You can easily find hard-wearing items like coats, jeans, and t-shirts in secondhand stores or online without having to worry about wear and tear – and they will also be a fraction of the price.
You can also join local groups where the members swap items of kid’s clothing – if you don’t have any groups in your area, why not start one yourself?
Swapping baby clothes is a great way to make sure all the clothes that your child has grown out of find a new home, and it’s a great way to bond with other parents too.
Donate Items That No Longer Fit
While it may seem counterintuitive to cycle through more clothes by donating them more frequently and replacing them with second-handitems, it’s actually a great way to make clothes last longer.
Although some moms want their babies to get the most out of their clothing by wearing them until they fall apart, donating them can save you money.
Donating clothes to consignment stores to get some money to buy more clothes that actually fit means you’re not just throwing them away – and they will circulate for longer.
The Bottom Line
As a mum, you know how fast children outgrow and wear out their clothes. But, this doesn’t mean you have to contribute to the fast fashion industry. Although landfills are growing at an alarming rate, you can lessen your environmental impact by simply becoming a conscious consumer when it comes to your baby’s clothes.
You can become a conscious consumer by donating, buying, or swapping secondhand garments and supporting brands that advocate for slow fashion and sustainability. You can make a difference!