How to shop sustainably for children’s clothing
Especially if you are on a budget, but buying better quality children’s clothing will help you save money and be more sustainable in the long run
Children grow quickly and are often rough on their clothes. This means parents find themselves shopping for children’s clothing often. Though buying the least expensive clothing possible might seem practical, the environmental impact of mass-produced children’s clothing, like with modern fashion in general, is significant.
“I’m on the frontlines of textile recycling and waste,” said Andrea Palise, owner of Bubbles and Bean Children’s Consignment in Camden. “The things that I am seeing are shocking in the way that the producers of fast fashion have zero accountability. I find that the children’s clothes [are] even made more cheaply. Three washes and they’re already getting pilly and worn out.”
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take if you are looking to shop for children’s clothing in a way that is better for the planet without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for shopping more sustainably for children’s clothes, whether you’re on your first kid or your fifth.
Buy better quality garments
It seems counterintuitive, especially if you are on a budget, but buying better quality children’s clothing will help you save money and be more sustainable in the long run. Quality clothing will not only last longer, but it will also have a higher resale value if you want to pass on the garments to a consignment store.
Aside from shopping brands known for better quality, Palise said that you can look at the stitching of the clothing you are considering to judge whether it is quality or not. Better quality garments will have more stitches per inch and tighter seams. If you pull the seam from the inside of the garment and it comes apart, the garment is likely lower quality. The stitches should also be neat, even and lay flat in order to avoid snagging.
“Look at the quality of the cloth [too],” Palise said. “You can easily feel the difference between a good quality garment and a fast fashion garment.”
Quality clothes can be expensive, though. If you are on a budget, Palise said to splurge on a few key items, and then look to second-hand shops for others. Palise said that she might splurge on items like shoes and coats for children, especially a climate like Maine’s, but items like jeans she would feel confident finding a quality product at a second-hand shop.
“Jeans these days are just jeans for kids,” Palise said. “The knit wear, that’s when the price usually reflects the quality.”
This study has been carried out by Sam Schipani of https://bangordailynews.com/2021/04/20/homestead/how-to-shop-sustainably-for-childrens-clothing/