Sustainable Saturday - Recycling Childrens' Clothing

Children grow entirely too fast and for those of us living in parts of the country where we see temperature swings from -10 degrees to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, children's clothing can amass in ridiculous quantities. I have saved all of the clothing from both of our children since their birth, but the amount of storage space required in our house to do so is becoming quite daunting. I have done so because we weren't sure how many children we might have and thought that it would be worthwhile to hang onto things for at least a few years. Several months ago my neighbor and I did a clothing swap. She took all my old girl clothes since my daughter is now 3 (she has a 1 month old little girl) and I took all her boy clothes (Her son is 3 and mine is 1). It was a great way to recycle or reuse clothing, saved us both hundreds of dollars on clothing that our children will wear for a very short period of time.

Excerpt from Guide to Recycling Infant Clothing & Gear:

There's nothing more beautiful than a baby, but if you're on a budget, there's nothing pretty about how fast they grow. Indeed, all too many parents have a drawer full of clothes that were worn only a few times before their little one grew too big. Add shoes, toys, and all the other early childhood equipment that becomes obsolete before its time, and chances are you've got a pile of like-new items that you can't use anymore.

For those with even the barest eco-conscience, it's a Brobdingnagian waste of Lilliputian proportions. Here's how you can turn your collection of outgrown items into a force for good:

- Buy only what you need!
- If you underestimate, you can always supplement later.
- Seek used items wherever possible. There is a wide variety of nearly-new goods available, and buying used lets you conserve everything from raw materials to energy. And you'll save money, too.
- Garage sales, consignment shops, and other local used clothing stores are great sources for pre-owned stuff.
- There are also several online resources. Check Baby Place for a long list of shops selling gently used necessities.

You can read more here.

Originally published February 2009.

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