I’ve loved drawing animals and trees since I was five years old. Twenty-one years later, not much has changed. Living in such a fast paced and digital culture I try as often as I can...
At Wonder Bunch, we believe in building things that last! We do our best to rely on sustainably sourced, long-lasting, and infinitely reusable and ultimately recyclable products whenever possible. But when it comes to kids’ clothing, fast fashion is nearly unavoidable. If children manage to wear an item more than once before outgrowing it, then it’s likely to be stained or torn, making it hard to justify donating or handing it down. Because of fast fashion, more than 11 million tons of textiles end up in landfills every year.
So how do parents show respect for our planet, their pocketbook, and their children’s unique sense of style? The good news is, there are always answers! This month, Wonder Bunch is bringing you ideas to reuse your favorite children’s clothing and donate what they’ve outgrown, as well as tips on where to buy sustainably sourced clothing your kids will love!
It can be hard to resist buying every outfit that would look absolutely adorable on your child, but we’re going to level with you — it’s not actually the clothes that are adorable. You just have really cute kids. But before you click “buy” on this season’s trends, now might be a perfect time to take proper inventory of what your child already has on hand. Make a list of essential items, check off what you have, and make a more focused list of what you don’t. Curbing impulse buying can keep a last minute purchase from living in the back of the closet unworn!
Some families opt to inventory their child’s closet at the end of a season and get rid of the clothes that just went out of season. For most donation centers and the people you’re considering handing your clothes down to, this can be frustrating. You’ve just gifted them with holding onto your kids’ discards for three quarters of a year waiting for them to be back in season. If you’re considering donating or consigning clothing, inventory this season’s haul, not last season’s. Nobody wants winter coats and snow pants congesting their closets for a year.
Personally, we love giving our children’s great-condition clothes to friends and family and getting to see the clothes our family made memories in out making new ones with people we love! We like to donate other items to worthy causes.
One of the most expensive single-season investments parents make comes in the form of a coat your child will grow out of in the middle of the coldest week of the year, without fail. And the only thing worse than having to buy a brand new coat in December is not being able to. For parents struggling to keep warm outerwear on their children, One Warm Coat is a heart-and-body warming hand-up in a moment of need. Check out the link above to find a drop off location in your area!
While most donation centers request all clothes be clean, stain-free, and in good condition to be donated, Planet Aid takes a different approach. Their goal is to keep those 11 million tons of clothes out of landfills. Donations are separated into sellable, donatable, and scrap fabric. Profits from sellable high-end clothes are used to keep the operation running. Donated casuals are sent to those in need, and unwearable fabrics are shredded and used as couch stuffing or industrial rags. You can find one of thousands of drop off boxes or print a shipping label at the link above.
In the last several years, H&M has launched a recycle and repurpose program which allows customers to leave their used clothing — great, good, and completely unwearable alike — at drop boxes in-store. Those clothes are either sent to be turned into new clothes, or shredded and used as stuffing and insulation. To find a drop box near you, head here.
There are more than a few shirts, dresses, and precious pajamas that our family has truly struggled to part with. We’ve taken to collecting them in a designated tote and creating quilt patches together in our spare time. Our little ones love helping us piece the patterns together, and are big enough now that they’re even able to help with some of the sewing. When our quilt is complete, we will have years of memories to cuddle up under together!
Check out this easy-to-follow tutorial we found from Baby Lock.
Other items find themselves made into stuffed animals with shredded fabric as the stuffing and cozy fuzzy socks or warm sweaters as our new friends’ fur. Buttons of discarded clothes are kept in a jar to serve as eyes, and our kids love watching their own stuffed animal designs come to life from their own clothing!
We’re pretty nuts about the patterns available for free at All Crafts, and can’t wait to get started on our next project.
We love that our readers trust us to find the best, craftiest, most fun solutions to some of our shared parenting questions and conundrums! But when we found this blog by Zero Waste Memoirs, we knew that we had found an expert on the subject and wanted to pass on the information they’ve worked so hard to research and share. In their a recent blog post, ZWM has curated a list of ethical clothing companies families love right now, and included shopping links to make it easy to follow! The clothes are so cute, and we have definitely found our new online alternative to a kid’s clothing store. We are super grateful to Zero Waste Memoirs for sharing 13 Ethical Kids Clothing Brands.
As Earth Day approaches, we find ourselves more and more aware of how much our efforts can impact the world around us. If you have any tips or tricks for parents to green their routine, drop us a comment or DM on Facebook or Instagram or email us at Hello@WonderBunch.Com.