What You Need to Know About Sustainable Fashion for Kids
The modern world is becoming more more aware of the planet and the precariousness of its health than ever before.
Our society has shifted away from fast fashion and quick food options to a more environmentally responsible way of living. This is particularly prevalent within the kids fashion industry. A baby usually outgrows 7 sizes of clothing within the first two years and as a result every parent struggles with the enormous amount of clothes that need to be purchased and then disposed of when they are outgrown.
Every year over 183 million pieces of outgrown clothes are thrown away! The good news is that more and more parents are aware of this issue and are working hard to fight the waste in different ways.
Reuse & Recycle
It has become tremendously popular for parents to buy and sell secondhand for kids.
The interesting thing is that the concept has always existed in the kids universe, parents give life to outgrown items by giving them away to friends and family with younger kids. However today this process is becoming more and more widespread and organized, with a growing number of companies making the process simple and fast as the regular e-commerce sites.
The businesses that build solutions know how demanding the modern parent is and the primary focus is to offer quality items so that there is a small difference between buying secondhand a new. Apps like Petit Marché allow parents to buy and sell directly between each other, thereby creating a circular economy among parents locally. In order to ensure the quality and condition of everything sold on Petit Marché processes are in place with expert teams that verify all ads before they are posted on the app.
“We see today how many young first time parents deliberately chose to buy secondhand clothes and equipment for their newborn baby, and it is not because they do not care of the quality and condition, but because they know that they can find things that are as good as new – and then it no longer makes sense to actually buy new!”
- Anna de Chabaneix, Founder of Petit Marché.
The Environmental Footprint of Clothing
The fashion industry is said to be the second largest polluting industry in the world.
Fortunately for the modern parent making a sustainable choice is easier than previous generations, when choosing clothes and equipment for their kids.
More and more companies offer children’s clothes that have been produced in a sustainable manner. These producers often choose fabrics that are organic, sustainably sourced or even recycled materials. More than 70% of the environmental footprint of a fabric comes from the production phase and the aim is to reduce this footprint by changing the traditional production methods that deplete a high volume of energy and water, while creating toxic by-products that infiltrate the soil and sea.
While the production process has a large impact to the environmental footprint of clothing manufacturing, the way we take care of our clothes also plays a role in the continuity of energy and water consumption.
Every time we wash our kids clothes it also comes with a considerable environmental footprint: washing machines and dryers consume a lot of electricity and many detergents contain toxic ingredients. There are very simple ways of working against this, such as
- Washing your clothes less often (not always easy with kids though!)
- Washing at lower temperatures and
- Using natural and green detergent, that are growing in popularity, check out Tru Earth laundry strips
It is becoming obvious to most of us that the responsibility of sustainable clothing does not end with the producers, but that we are all able to take small actions to take care of our planet.
Less is More
Simply, buy less things.
“Less is more” is a general trend based on the value of simplicity and that by having less you actually create a richer life.
Within kids fashion, buying fewer things is a growing trend by many parents parents who deliberately chose to buy fewer items for their kids, based on the idea that way too often our kids have much more clothes and toys than they actually need.
There is an increasing number of environmentally and socially conscious kids clothing companies that acknowledge this trend focus on the design and production kids clothing that can actually be adjusted in size!
One of these is Beyamade, a kids clothing company founded by a mother who could not believe how quickly her child grew out her clothes. She therefore decided to create a kids clothing line, where each piece can be worn up to 12-18 months owing to the design and adjustable straps.
Making environmental choices is easier than before in children's fashion
While governments, NGOs and companies are slowly yet steadily taking an active part in promoting sustainable initiatives, private initiatives and innovative solutions by parents and entrepreneurs are giving individual consumers simple and easy solutions to align their shopping and daily habits with their environmental consciousness.
Parents today deliberately promote sustainability when they
- Buy less
- Buy products that are designed to grow with the kids
- Buy from quality secondhand shops
About the Author
Anna de Chabaneix is a mother of 3 boys and is originally from Denmark, and based in Geneva. She is the founder of the app Petit Marché, a mobile marketplace making it easy and appealing for parents to buy and sell preloved for kids.
“As a mother I realized how every parent finds themselves in the same situation: on one hand we have so many things at home that our kids no longer use and often in great condition and at the same time we have to buy new things all the time as our children grow and seasons change”.
Petit Marché was originally launched in Geneva where it grew successfully and is opening-up in Zürich. When the app was launched the majority of parents were still reluctant to buying secondhand for their kids, but it has been amazing to see how more and more parents today deliberately chose to buy preloved.
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