Earlier this week, I received a reminder from my children’s school, to attend the second-hand uniform sale. Something in me got really excited!!
When I think of my kids’ closets, I’d say that about 90% of their clothes are second-hand. I am extremely lucky to have several friends who give us hand-me-downs often. Everything else, I purchase at second-hand sales or second-hand online stores. I have many reasons to love buying second-hand, the first of which is price!
I will be 100% honest. If new clothing was as cheap as second-hand, I’d probably buy new. Of course, that would be terrible for the men and women producing the clothes and I would never wish that. But the lower prices on second-hand clothing is very attractive.
Here’s the thing – a child will go through 1 or 2 sizes every year until their teenage years. They will also get active and abuse a lot of their clothes, see more on that later… With all of that in mind, I just can’t justify the price tags on new clothing. I love my kids dearly and love for them to look super cute, but I won’t spend that kind of money. I’d much rather pay for sports and educational experiences. And I have found that buying second-hand does not mean that you can’t find adorable pieces.
2- Green Initiative
If I start thinking about the waste of resources used to produce each shirt and pair of pants we wear, I start feeling anxious. The WWF organization states that it can take 2,700 liters of water to produce a single t-shirt. When I look at my family’s closets, I see a LARGE footprint… When I purchase second-hand, I feel like I contribute a little bit to helping our planet. My impact might be minimal but if we could all trade a few pieces of clothing each year, it’d be a win for the environment!
On a less serious note, at my house, everything goes in the dryer. What cannot withstand the dryer, stays on the racks… We are crazy busy and laundry cannot be a long process. Everything makes it from the washer to the dryer. When I buy second-hand clothing, I know that the Mom before me has washed the garments multiple times. I have no second thoughts and get on with the drying!
4- Relaxed Mommy
I get very nervous around clothes. When my children wear something nice or pricey, I will literally be, in their ears, the entire day. I cannot stand them getting dirty and the prospect of a hole or stain turns me into Scary Mommy. We definitely don’t want that! When they wear second-hand clothing, they get to be kids. While I won’t let them roll in dirt, I am a much more relaxed Mommy when they wear pre-loved outfits rather than anything coming out of the store!
5- Good Cause
Most second-hand sale events are organized by non-profit organizations. Members donate clothes they no longer use and the profits of the sale go back to the organization. I feel that this is a win-win for everyone!
I am extremely fortunate to be receiving so much from close friends. What is important to me is to pay it forward. The clothing that I receive gets worn by 1 to 3 kids in my home. When we are done with them, I hand them down to younger children. I love the idea of paying kindness forward (and everyone can use some de-cluttering!).
Where I Shop
I try to attend several second-hand sales each year. Our school’s PTA Uniform Sale is a great example and wonderful platform to donate old uniforms, while shopping for the next year. I just bought 19 pieces for $19 this summer and am pretty much all set for the school year. A local organization for Parents of Twins organizes a yearly sale for all parents. It is another good opportunity to find nice pieces for the kids.
When I look for something specific, either a style that I have in mind or a brand, I turn to ThredUp.
I love this online store, and while I have never sold through them, I have purchased quite a bit. They have kids and women’s fashion and I have purchased clothes for all of us there. You can save your sizes, favorite brands, and price ranges and they will wait for you each time you log in. I use them a lot when I want to buy French brands I grew up with. Most of the time, I can’t find those brands in the U.S., and ThredUp always has a nice collection that other Moms have sent in!
Do you like to purchase second-hand for your kids and yourself? Use the Comment box below to let us know where you shop?
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