Re-use, re-wear, recycle,

Writing this, as someone in the fashion industry, is somewhat tricky. Can an industry that relies on the turnover of clothes and a need for the new, really be sustainable?

Yes, I buy a lot of clothes. but I also love them.  And hand on heart I have never thrown away any of my clothing. I pass onto friends and family, I donate to charity, I sell online or I do carboot sales. I love the idea of re-circling items and someone wearing something I have fallen out of favour with, and that person getting a little bargain along the way, too!

Anyway, I thought I’d mention a few new places that have appeared on my radar that are doing good things in terms of recycling and with a baby, now, I really understand the concept of a quick turnover clothes-wise, so  have included a few new kids ones, too:

1. The Resolution Store

This is a bit like letting you in on a really exciting secret, as it hasn’t launched yet (set for the 21st September!). But this is a site dedicated to the exclusive resale of Influencer’s clothing, encouraging bloggers to remain eco-friendly, their clothes to have a longer lifespan and allow shoppers to get hold of sold out Ganni for a more affordable price. Everyone’s a winner.

There will limited time only sales, so you can sign up here to be notified, you’ll also get two hours of preview shopping before the site goes live to the general public on the morning of the 21st.

2. Little Circle

Set up by an ex Fashion Director and Fashion Stylist, this a such a clever concept for a kidswear store – you buy a product you love and when you’re ready to sell (or your child has grown out of it), send it back to them to resell and you get a voucher to re-shop. The only downside is that the smallest size is age 2 so Peggy will have to wait a little while!

3. Fara

Now obviously we all know about charity shopping, but I only recently discovered Fara for secondhand kidswear. They have 26 general stores and 14 for kidswear and it’s wonderfully edited: I picked up some baby Zara and brand new Gap for under £5 and friends have found Bonpoint, Baby Bjorn bouncers and Nike Air Max for kids!

All of Peggy’s clothes are recycled and reused, she wears all of her cousins’ old clothing and everything she has grown out of goes into the loft to pass on again.

4. NCT Baby Sales

This is the kind of thing you won’t have heard of until you have a baby, we didn’t even do NCT but everyone told us about these sales, it’s another perfect cycle where parents’ sell on no longer needed clothes/toys/gadgets which they don’t have space for and new parents can access products and clothes for a fraction of the price. Members (who pay a yearly fee) can access the sales early but other than that, they’re open to the public, but there are also lots of alternative Facebook pages for local communities, which have a similar system.

5. Reselling sites

Without going into too much detail, as I feel I’ve covered these sites a lot on my blog in the past, my top ones are VestiaireeBayTictail (where I sell my old clothes, mainly ones that no longer fit post baby – and 10% of all sales go towards Alzheimers UK) and Gumtree (we use this more for furniture, especially with the new house).

And there are small things we can do on a daily basis, too.

Obviously, there are websites like Recycle Now that can offer help with recycling and finding your nearest textile banks, for example, shops like H&M offer vouchers in exchange for dropping off a bag of clothes, most charities take used stamps (I’ve been sending mine to the RSPB for years!), most coffee shops offer a discount if you take your own cup (you save 50p on a coffee in Pret) and Garnier are teaming up with Terracycle to help recycle used shampoo and beauty bottles.

If anyone has any other recommendations, please share in the comments and let’s try and keep this from just being a ‘fashionable’ topic at the moment and keep the circle going.

Apologies for the delay in this post going live – I was having hosting issues this week!

25 Comments

  1. This is a great post Alex. Recycling in the fashion industry is something we are passionate about so it’s good to read about how you do it too!

    We launched a scheme ‘The BAS Revival’ where people can send us their broken pieces of jewellery /beads and we remake into a BAS piece in exchange for a voucher to spend. We then sell it and a percentage of the profits go to nominated charities. We hope to breathe life into otherwise lifeless jewels and reduce waste! https://www.blackandsigi.com/bas-revival.html

    We love charity shop buying too! And there is a local swap shop which is a fab concept.

    Overall I think people are becoming more concilia and it’s great to see.

    Clio xx

  2. Love this post! I decided about 3 months ago that i was no longer going to buy any throw away fashion and instead buy great quality pieces that I love and will keep (which has the fortunate benefit of meaning I’m allowed to splurge on special items!) or if not this then I can buy second hand so I’m super excited about the resolution store !

    1. Yes – great idea! I still can’t bring myself as love too many trends, but I am still shopping less in the fast fast fashion such as Boohoo and Missguided. My only exception is Primark as there’s one in Wood Green and it’s quite good for Peggy and homewares!

  3. Love your blog Alex, and really enjoy seeing posts like this that encourages people not just to keep buying stuff without thinking about their existing clothes!
    Just wanted to add that you don’t have to be an NCT member to go to their sales! I’m not and I’ve been to loads and saved sooo much money. My daughter is 16 months and we’re lucky to live in a fairly affluent area so the bargains and quality of clothes is fantastic. And when I’m finished with popping out babies the clothes and other things will still have plenty of life in them to re-sell again. Winning! The only downside seems to be that she has a lot more pink than I would like (I refuse to but pink stuff first-hand) as it seems to be the only thing people buy, damn it!x

  4. I probably should have added that NCT members get in 15minutes early, but then the flood gates are opened! Alternatively you can get early access by offering to volunteer (which I’ve not bothered with yet), and there’s still plenty of good stuff left as I think most people that go aren’t members, or at least that’s the case where I live.

  5. We’ve starting an incentive at Disko Kids where we give customers a discount off a new kids T-shirt or sweatshirt purchase if they show they’ve passed a previously bought Disko Kids T-shirt to a sibling or friend as their child has grown out of it xx

  6. Thanks for the Little circle an Fara tips! All Kiki’s clothes go to her smaller friends and cousins, and most of her clothes come from her bigger cousin. I do however like to buy her cute stuff so buying second hand is great! By the rate she’s growing she might fit into Little circle stuff by next year 😀

  7. I love this Alex (and am actually planning a post along the same lines) – it’s so important we all take steps towards reducing our environmental footprint, and as a blogger who promotes the purchase of new pieces, I do feel a responsibility to do so in a conscious way and one that promotes a longer lifespan of those pieces.

    I also never ever throw any clothes away – I either sell via Vestiaire or Depop or donate to friends and charity. One charity I love is Dress for Success (they have UK and US branches I believe – https://dressforsuccessgl.org) and twice a year I send any of my ‘work’ clothes that I no longer wear to them – it helps women who are fleeing domestic violence or re-establishing themselves dress for an interview or a new job. I also send all my bras that no longer fit or that I no longer wear here: https://www.againstbreastcancer.org.uk/recycling/bra-recycling/ (and I think Bravisimo stores take them also) and they send them to Africa where they’re donated (I read that statistically a woman is less likely to be raped – and therefore less likely to contract HIV – if she is wearing a bra).

    Finally, if something is too worn out to be sold or donated, I take them to H&M once a season where they either donate or recycle the textiles. Bonus: they take any textile too, so I even put in all our old socks, tights, tea towels, sheets, etc. And then once a year I take all our old towels and blankets to the local animal shelter where they always need these things to keep rescue animals comfy and warm.

    I’ve also made sure I shop more consciously and try to only buy / keep something if I’m sure it will work in my wardrobe, with my lifestyle, and be worn and loved for years to come (it’s not always the easiest task with a blog, but it’s always my first thought when shopping).

    Briony xx

  8. Thanks so much for this post – it’s something that I’ve always tried to do. I buy quite a bit but don’t discriminate so that means boot sales/ebay/anywhere(!). It’s SO satisfying finding something cool on ebay especially for the babies and I always do a quick search there first before buying something from a shop as they just grow out of things so quickly that most things are good quality.

  9. This is a fantastic post. I’ve worked in a women’s dress agency for many years and love the recycling of clothes it is so refreshing and exciting picking up something different.
    Last year I had my first child and I realised they out grow their clothes sooo much quicker than we go off them! We are now launching our very own children’s clothing agency. ‘Little Raine-Preloved Drops’ You can buy or sell your children’s clothes and we are really trying to focus on stocking the beautiful smaller independent labels that are coming through at the moment. The high street for children can be a little dull at times but the smaller brands are amazing! Although a little pricier, which is where hopefully we can help…check out Little Raine preloved Drops on insta. x

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