Clothing Kids: A Zero-Waste Conundrum

Kids grow fast. On top of that, kids are really rough on clothes. I know, these aren’t great, relevatory observations, sorry. But for zero-wasters, this is a particular problem. It seems that every other day, my older son has blown out the knee of a new pair of pants. Or, irritrievably stained a school shirt.

I’ve discovered a local kids’ used clothing store called the Lilly Bean in my town. It is very well curated and decently organized and priced. It has a decent selection. And the store has loyalty cards. Yay!

With this discovery, I can confidently make the zero waste resolution to buy only used (with the exception of socks and underwear) kids clothes. My younger son gets hand-me-downs from his brother (even though they are often designated “play” clothes. If they are still usable after both boys, we pass the clothes onto cousins. If not, we typically throw them away, so there may be room for improvement.

3 pairs of pants, 3 shorts, 2 shirts, and a pair of shoes for $30.

I’m very happy with my $30 haul. Because I now keep a cloth bag in my purse, I was also able to get it home with a minimal amount of fuss. Here is the garbage and recycling produced (not including the loyalty card and receipt, which are both recyclable) :

Top is unavoidable garbage. One pair of pants was brand new and still had a size sticker. The bottom pile contains the recyclable tags.

So How About You?

Does the need to clothe children decently complicate your zero-waste ambitions? How do you solve the conundrum? Please post your tricks below!

Until next time, keep that talk walking!

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