Kids Clothes: Celebrate Earth Day in Eco-Fashion
I could tell you that I dress my kids in eco-friendly clothes from head-to-toe, but that wouldn’t be the truth. The fact is, most clothing that has the eco-label is a lot more money than I am able to spend on a two and a four year-old. Let’s face it—if they aren’t getting permanent stains on their clothes, than they are growing out of them before you know it. For me, it’s just not possible to spend $30 to $40 on a single article of clothing for my children—not at the rate they go through clothes. Despite the fact that I do not dress my kids in eco-labeled fashion all of the time, I do make eco-friendly decisions for almost all of their wardrobe items.
Eco-Friendly Fashion Tips for Saving Money and Being Green
Here are a few of my eco-tricks for saving money and being green all at the same time:
Join the Hand-Me-Down Club
Let your friends know that you are very happy to get hand-me-downs, and in turn, take good care of your kids clothes so that you can hand-them-down to the next person. I literally get a huge bag of clothes from a friend of mine whose son is about a year older than my son. I fully expect this relationship to continue until they both leave for college.
Play Clothes vs. Good Clothes
Remember when you were a kid and you had “play clothes”? I know it’s hard, but try to keep your children’s school clothes separate from their running in the park, jumping in puddles, and dripping ice cream clothes. It will reduce your stress, and up the fun factor for your kids. Pants they can get dirty? Okay, now we’re talking.
Learn the Art of Camouflage
Keep a handful of appliqués around for those stains you just can’t get out. It’s a shame to lose something that is in otherwise great shape just because of one spot. If you’re really crafty, you can even make your own appliqués out of fabric scraps. Trust me, it’s easier than you think, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it myself!
Buy Out of Season
I’ve recently started to shop two seasons ahead, which means I get in on the end-of-the season sales. So for example, in the early Spring, I will be shopping for Fall and Winter items for the coming year. I buy a size up and assume they’ll be ready when the time comes. And if the clothes are still a little big, then I just hem them and roll up those sleeves—just like my Mama did.
Teach Your Children Well
The most important thing you can do as a parent is give your children the skills necessary to be happy, productive, responsible adults. Showing them how to spend money wisely, take care of their things, and respect the hard work it takes to provide these things begins with the littlest things. And it’s making the little changes in our own lives that will make a big difference when it comes to the our quality of life and the quality of our Environment.
Of course, all of these ideas work when it comes to our own fashion choices too. One of my favorite eco-minded ideas are Swap Parties. This is a party where you invite your friends to bring some clothing items that they would want to "swap" for something "new". The point is, you can be creative and have fun while also being more eco-conscious. So think about the small things you can do to be a little more green, and have a Happy Earth Day!
How do you make sure you get the most out of your child's clothes? What are your tips and tricks for making the clothes last longer?
Emily Anderson is an author and designer, with three eco-style books. She is a frequent contributor for magazines and television, and is the Editor of her own fashion and design blog Good with Style. Emily lives in New York City with her husband and two children.