Most people would agree that we’re living in a society that tends to throw things away long before they’re unusable. Each year tonnes and tonnes of clothing goes to landfill, That’s over 11 million items of clothing in the UK alone. To put that in perspective, this much clothing could fill almost 460 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Most of this clothing had nothing wrong with it; it just simply didn’t find a new owner.
We live in a time where it’s normal to just throw things away; one of the biggest culprits of this is children’s clothing. Of all the categories of clothes, kids clothing is the one that tends to have the least amount of wear before it gets discarded. This is a completely normal response; we buy outfits for our kids, they grow out of them, and we throw them away.
There is, however, a growing movement that is about trying to be a bit more sustainable, saving money and even making a few extra quid on the side, and that is the children’s second-hand clothing market.
So what is it all about? How does it work? How can you get involved? Read on to find out all this and more.
Why is it Important to Consider Second-Hand Clothing For Kids?
There are a number of reasons why it’s important to consider dealing with the kids’ second-hand clothing market. They range across a broad range of things, from environmental factors to saving money and even making a bit of extra cash.
Sustainability is something a lot of us are thinking about at the moment, especially if we have kids. We want our children to inherit an earth that is safe and full of all the things that we’ve been able to experience from our childhoods till now. Not a lot of people realise this, but the fashion industry is one of the most polluting and resource-demanding industries on the planet.
The clothing industry is the second-largest polluter of water sources in the world. The process of dying or waterproofing a lot of fabrics requires many nasty chemicals. A lot of the manufacturing plants where this takes place are in the developing world where environmental laws can be loose or not obeyed at all. This leads to the polluting of freshwater sources.
Another thing to think about is the farming of plants we need to make natural fibres. We all want to avoid certain synthetic materials in childrens’ clothing because of fire safety, but the amount of time, energy and resources required to grow a plant like cotton until it can yield enough to be used is massive.
Many cotton producers in the US are starting to find it difficult to keep up with demand, and there could be shortages in the future.
Taking advantage of the second-hand clothing market releases some of the pressure on the environment and resources.
We all know kids are expensive; it’s the reason why they are seen as the ultimate sacrifice. They’re rewarding, but from the moment they enter our lives, they cost money. There’s food, nappies, childcare, education; when they get older, there’s extra-curricular activities and the occasional window repair from cricket practice in the backyard.
One cost many new parents don’t really think about is clothing. Recent studies have shown that parents can expect to spend between £35 and £40 per month for the first year just on clothing. This is based on moderate buying, but we all know people who have spent that much on a single outfit for their baby. So combine regular monthly clothing with the unpredictable nature of growth spurts and the need to get a special outfit for things like birthdays and christenings, and the amount you’re spending each year could easily reach the thousands.
If you could only spend a fraction of that but still have the same amount of wardrobe options available to you, you probably would. This is exactly what the second-hand clothing market does. You get more for less, and at the end of the day, it’s the small savings that help you get ahead.
Earning a Little Extra
It’s incredibly exciting to watch our kids grow. We see them go from being a tiny little thing to this toddler that seems indestructible, and before you know it, they’re 13 and way too cool to be hanging out with mum or dad.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when you see that your little one has outgrown an outfit. There’s a tingle of excitement that they’ve passed another milestone, but then there’s also the thought of ‘Oh, that’s a shame, I really liked that outfit.’
In the past, we would normally hand it down to someone we know, but fewer and fewer people do this anymore because there’s so much clothing available to them all the time. The other option is to donate it to a charity shop, but even they are having a hard time finding new homes for donated clothing.
The thing most people don’t realise is that there’s a market out there for second-hand children’s clothing. Each outfit that has been outgrown could be earning you a few extra pounds in the pocket for a rainy day.
Promoting Slow Fashion For Kids (SLOF)
Before getting into this one, it’s important to explain the difference between slow fashion and fast fashion. Fast fashion is basically the clothing most of us have in our wardrobes and drawers. It’s clothing that was produced cheaply and quickly. If you walk up and down any high street, you will see loads of fast fashion.
Fast fashion works fine for a lot of people, but in the past two decades, there has been a growing movement of people within the fashion industry that noticed some problems with this particular method.
You see, fast fashion isn’t very environmentally conscious, it doesn’t have a great reputation for treating workers very well, and it also doesn’t last very long. This is where the idea of slow fashion comes in.
The main principles behind slow fashion are that clothing is made ethically, sustainably and eliminates as much waste as possible. One part of this is finding ways to extend the life of clothing.
Childrens’ clothing tends to actually last a lot longer than adult clothes; we just don’t see it because they grow out of it too quickly. Kids garments are normally made from natural fibres and produced to a high quality. As parents, we also tend to take better care of our kids’ clothing than we do our own because we want it to last a long time. By finding new homes for your kids’ clothes, you will be participating in slow fashion in the easiest way.
Reusing and Recycling
We all know that recycling is important, but you might not realise the immensely positive impact of recycling clothing. The truth is that by simply finding new homes for your children’s clothes when they grow out of them, you’re helping to lower some pretty terrifying numbers.
Recycling clothing reduces greenhouse emissions, cuts down on landfill, uses less energy and resources, helps people in different socio-economic groups to get ahead, reduces consumption and many more benefits.
Having a support network around you is incredibly important, especially when you’re a new parent. The incredibly unique task of raising another human being is rewarding, but at times it can also be terrifying and leave us feeling isolated.
It’s great to have people like our own parents reassure us that they went through exactly the same stuff with us, but there’s an added feeling of comfort when you know someone is going through similar things to you right now.
We’ve also seen in the past two years that the need for online communities has skyrocketed since so many of us haven’t been allowed to see each other in person.
Entering the children’s second-hand clothing market will instantly connect you with thousands of other parents who are experiencing exactly the same things as you. You’d be surprised how much you can get from a brief interaction with someone in the same situation as you, and who knows, you might also make a great friend. I mean, it’s no stranger than becoming besties with someone who you only met through your kid’s preschool.
The Rise of Second-Hand Children’s Clothing
The second-hand clothing market is booming. In the past decade, people have started to get smarter when it comes to making any kind of purchase. Most of us shop around for a while to find the absolute best price of things. Also, fast fashion cycles and a shift towards thinking on a more global scale has lead to a thriving second-hand clothing market.
The second-hand clothing market is currently worth £18bn, and a recent study has shown that it’s probably going to become one and a half times the size of the fast fashion market in the next decade.
It’s not just limited to online websites and apps either; even Selfridges has started selling pre-loved children’s clothing. If you’re after some Gucci or Burberry swag for your kid’s closet, you can now pick it up and some pretty cheap prices.
Now is the perfect time to jump into the expanding pool of children’s second-hand clothing; the water is perfect.
What is the Future of the Children’s Resale Market?
You could say that the era of Antiques Roadshow has led to a more resale savvy population. More and more people look around their homes when doing a spring clean and think about what kind of money they can make from something before they consider putting it in the bin.
The internet has led to some incredible business opportunities for people and some great ways to make a little extra money on the side, and it appears that the children’s second-hand clothing market is only going to expand as we get even more technologically advanced.
How Can You Earn a Little Extra?
So now that you’ve probably raided your kid’s dresser drawers and found a lot of outfits that you no longer need, you’re probably wondering how to turn these glad rags into cash. Well, we have you covered.
myTOT is a mobile marketplace that was designed specifically with people like you in mind to find clothing and kid’s products at the best prices and to make some extra money from selling the stuff you already have. To get started, it’s pretty easy.
Create a myTOT Account
To start, you just need to download the myTOT App from your preferred app store and create an account. myTOT have incorporated technology into the app, to tailor the news feed to you! Helping you find products that you are interested in.
Build Your Shop
Once you’ve set up your profile, you can build your store by adding items to it. Don’t forget the more information you can give, the better chance you have of selling it quickly. Think about things like quantity, price, quality and shipping.
Great photos help sell the products, so make sure you take them under good lighting and try to make sure your image gives the most honest representation of your item.
Engage Other Users
You can follow other users or stores on the app. Perhaps you have a favourite seller, or even just want to support another local.
Just like you would on many other marketplaces, make sure you pay attention to notifications. If someone asks a question about your product, try to answer them as quickly as possible.
Promote Your Products
Feel free to use your own social networks to share the items you have for sale. You never know which ‘friends of friends might be interested and taking some of them off your hands.
What Clothes Are Most Sought After in the Children’s Second-Hand Market?
At the moment, there is a real demand for designer and bespoke children’s second-hand clothing. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one of these items, it will be gladly taken off you for a reasonable price in a flash.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, quality basics like baby grows, t-shirts and sleepwear are also incredibly popular.
There’s also a market for ensembles and costumes for special occasions. Perhaps your little one went to a wedding and grew out of that adorable suit two weeks later; there’s someone online who has a wedding to go to next week who would love that suit.
Where Can I Buy Children’s Second-Hand Clothing?
You can also buy clothing on the myTOT app. You don’t even have to be selling anything to buy, and plenty of people log on just to see what deals are hanging around. After a little while, myTOT will even personalise your shopping experience for you. If you have preferences, the myTOT technology will figure it out and make sure you don’t miss any incredible deals.
How myTOT Supports the Second-Hand Children’s Clothes Market
myTOT is all about putting the power into the hands of mums and dads. You could say that the app is ‘Parent Powered.’ myTOT aims to make the second-hand children’s clothing market more accessible, meaning even more people can participate in slow fashion, save money and help to participate in a more sustainable fashion model.
New movements are seeing a possible reduction in a throwaway culture, and it’s the perfect time to get involved in the kids second-hand clothing market. Not only will you be saving money (and possibly making a bit of extra cash), you will also be confident that you’re doing whatever you can to ensure your children will have a prosperous planet to live in.