Back to School
We will be in “back to school” mode before we know it! Time flew by this past year, with our daily lives changing drastically. Working, schooling, and everything else from home changed the way we shop, consume, and think. This year, as we plan to send our little ones (or big ones) back to school, we all have the same thing on our mind: Will they be attending class in person? Or will we revert to the online lifestyle we’ve all grown to know so well? Well, whichever it is, all we can do is gear up and prepare ourselves.
Over the past year, having our children learn remotely meant that those new school clothes probably sat in the closet. Most of us – including our kids – wore our comfiest, coziest sweatpants or pajamas, leaving the “nice” stuff for when we’d need it again. But kids grow up and grow out of things quickly, sometimes overnight it seems. What do you do with those too-small items? If you don’t have someone to pass these items along to, donating things you spent your hard-earned money on can be a difficult thought.
That’s why places like us exist! Consignment is for those hardly used, possibly even new clothing items to be re-sold, where the consignor (you!) gets a payment for them and the buyer gets to shop at a fraction of the retail cost. There are so many reasons to consign, and to shop consignment.
This reality of not knowing what our children will need clothing-wise for this upcoming year is a big reason to start shopping secondhand if you don’t already. It’s cost effective, environmentally friendly, and it recycles those barely worn articles of clothing. We carry a wide variety of styles, sizes, and brands your children are sure to love, and they won’t break the bank!
Shopping by Fabric Content
When shopping, most of us look for the brands we love, or the style that best suits us, but what most of us don’t shop by is fabric content. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or your children, there are a few things to note when it comes to shopping by fabric.
The best materials you can buy are the ones that come right out of our Earth, and here’s why: Natural fiber fabrics, such as linen, bamboo (rayon/viscose), and cotton are more long lasting, sustainable, and earth-friendly than synthetic fabrics. These natural fabrics are the better choice for kids who are hard on their clothes, as the their durability is quite high compared to man-made fabrics. Because of their long life span, they’re also a great choice for the environment.
Man-made synthetic fibers don’t last as long, don’t wear as well, and are non-biodegradable. These are fabrics such as polyester, acrylic, nylon, acetate and
more. Synthetic fibers are cheaper and easier to produce in large quantities, which may be good for large retailers, but these items are damaging the environment in a big way, creating an overwhelming amount chemicals, waste,
and carbon emissions. Natural fibers do take a lot to process as well, but they
do not have nearly the same environmental impact.
Another thing to note is mixed fabrics. You know that large tag on the inside seam of your clothes? (Yes, the one most of us cut out.) That’s the place you’re going to find information about the care and content of your garments. When you read a label that has 3 or more fabrics listed, this is generally something to stray away from. Most fabrics don’t mix well and have different characteristics, causing garments to lose shape, distort, and wear out faster. So why do companies mix fabrics? It’s cost effective. For us, it means we’re going to
be consuming more because these synthetic/mixed items won’t last as long.
One of the best ways to shop and reduce our carbon footprint is by shopping used. No matter the fabric content, all clothing production has an environmental impact, but studies show that extending a garment’s lifecycle by just three months leads to a 5-10% reduction in its carbon, water, and waste footprint. We’re all guilty of wanting new clothing, and as kids grow it’s a necessity
for them. So the next time your little one outgrows their hardly used items, think about the impact of throwing it out and the next time they need a wardrobe replenishment, think of buying used. You’ll save money and if they don’t
like it (we all have that one child you just cannot please with whatever clothing you’ve found for them) you can consign it later on. Shop small, shop sustainably, and most importantly shop secondhand!
There is a new-ish fabric called lyocell (brand name, Tencel). Lyocell is made from sustainably farmed eucalyptus and is a popular alternative to bamboo (rayon or viscose) because it is more environmentally friendly and feels just as soft.
Not So Fun Facts
It takes about 70 million barrels of oil to produce the polyester used in fabrics each year.
In 2015, Americans discarded more than 21 billion pounds of clothing and textiles into landfills.
In 2015, the global fashion industry used an average of 21 trillion gallons of water to produce textiles.