Small people have a habit of growing.
So while I get ‘new’ clothes because I want some, I don’t very often need them, but the Small people do, as they are starting to run out of clothes that fit!
We very frugally and cleverly had 2 Smalls of the same sex, which makes things a little easier, as SmallSmall has inherited a lot of his older brother’s clothes. But our foresight wasn’t that great, as they were both born in different seasons (BigSmall is an October baby and SmallSmall is April!) so sometimes we have the right size clothes but not the right clothes if that makes sense.
Anyway, I have been keeping my eye out for bits and pieces in the charity shops, and I started to notice… the selection is rubbish! Most shops have a very small rail dedicated to the children’s clothes, and it’s always a big jumbled up mish-mash, and there’s just not that much stuff.
Which I think is wierd. The number of kids there are out there, and the speed with which they outgrow things, should mean that there should be LOADS of secondhand clothes floating around.
So where does it all go?!
Various people have suggested to me that children’s clothes often get handed down through families, and then on to friends/cousins who are the appropriate age. Which would make sense, but doesn’t really help me out!
I think that maybe a lot of the good stuff ends up on E-bay (other internet auction sites are available :)) and I guess I really should have a trawl through and look.
And there is also a relatively new phenomenon. The children’s nearly new markets. The NCT have been running these for a while, and they are like a bun fight-elbows out and every man (or more usually, woman) for themself! In our area, independent Nearly New sales also seem to be springing up everywhere, and provide a great opportunity for people to get rid of all their outgrown clothes and toys and make a bit of spare cash, and also for people to buy good quality things for their children. Have a look and see if there is something similar in your area.
Buying secondhand for kids (well for everyone really) makes a lot of sense. They often grown so quickly that you can pick up stuff that is barely worn, and if they are going to grow out of something quickly (or nail it outside in the mud!) you don’t want to have spent a fortune on it!
If I had my time again and I knew what I did now, then the Smalls would have been Make Do and Mend babies! You end up with so much stuff, and you get pressured into buying all these lovely shiny new things and clothes, and they are up in the loft within 6 months as the baby has outgrown them. There is so much stuff out there if you know where to look (just not in the charity shops!)-car boots, nearly new sales, E-bay, Preloved.co.uk, and Freecycle (people are often giving away bundles of clothes and kids toys on Freecycle) and as long as you give it all a good clean and sterilise it if necessary, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t save yourself some money, do your bit to save the planet, and STILL have the best dressed baby!