My ambition has always been to make My Little Green Wardrobe the most sustainable baby and kids clothing shop going.
It's no secret that kids grow super quickly - and most parents end up with sackfuls of outgrown clothing - still with plenty of wear left in them - that they don't know what to do with.
Right from the outset, I wanted to address this elephant in the room by adding a circular element to the business, so that quality second hand baby and children's clothes quickly found new homes and were worn again.
In fact, a circular take back scheme and kids second hand clothing outlet was part of the very first business plan for My Little Green Wardrobe - and it’s taken me a while to get it put into place but here it is: the Re:Wardrobe.
In this article find out more about the circular economy, the concept of Re:Wardrobe and how this can benefit you…
What is the circular economy?
The circular economy is a system designed to eliminate waste and promote the continual use of resources.
Unlike the traditional linear economy, which follows a "take > make > waste" model, the circular economy aims to create a closed-loop system where products, materials, and resources are continually reused, refurbished, remanufactured, and recycled.
Key principles of a circular economy are:
- Design for longevity - items are made to be durable, reducing the need for frequent replacement
- Re-use and Repair - extending a product’s life by keeping it in circulation in longer rather than being disposed of
- Recycling / Upcycling - using valuable components to manufacture new products or transforming an item into a new higher-value product
- Waste Reduction / Elimination - Instead of discarding materials, the goal is to keep them within the economic system, either as products, components, or raw materials.
What is a Kids Clothing Take Back Scheme?
A children’s clothing take back scheme is exactly what it sounds like! We take back your baby and kids’ clothes after you’ve finished with them and circulate them back into the economy. Thus incorporating a circular aspect to the business.
All items in re-saleable condition are listed as part of our Re:Wardrobe collection, where customers can buy ethically-made, second hand kids clothes for a fraction of the price of buying new.
The sustainable kids’ brands we sell are made from the most durable, high quality materials - and they are designed to last.
We know many of these items have plenty of wear left in them after they are outgrown. As a parent, it can mean you have literally bags full of used clothes you don’t know what to do with. We want to be part of the solution and help these clothes find new homes.
Why is a Kids Clothing Take Back Scheme important?
Fashion is an incredibly damaging industry - with social and environmental impacts all around the globe.
And the irony is not lost on me that I am now a part of an industry which is helping destroy the planet.
A recent report from the Apparel Impact Institute suggests the fashion industry is estimated to be responsible for around 2% of global greenhouse emissions - a downgrade from the previous estimates of 8-10%. This is not cause to celebrate, however, say the report authors.
The study estimates that, with the fashion industry’s current growth patterns - even taking into consideration existing investments into climate action - emissions are projected to increase 40% by 2030.
This is not in line with the decarbonisation required to maintain safe planetary boundaries.
A river in Lesotho, south east Africa, is turned blue from a nearby denim manufacturer. Around 20% of freshwater globally is polluted by the the textiles industry.
According to the Ellen McArthur Foundation clothing production doubled between 2000 and 2015, while over the same period the number of times an item of clothing was worn before it was thrown away decreased by 36%.
The easiest and most efficient way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and biodiversity impacts associated with the fashion industry is to produce less and keep existing garments in rotation for longer before they are disposed of.
While it is not in my power to directly influence how many items a brand chooses to manufacture, it is in my power to help extend the life of garments. And it’s this action which may have a knock-on effect on how many new items are produced.
By participating in a kids' second hand clothing and take-back scheme, you actively contribute to reducing textile waste, which accounts for 92 million tons of discarded clothing per year globally, according to the Global Fashion Agenda. That’s a lorry load of clothing landfilled or incinerated. Every. Single. Second.
What are the benefits of a kids clothing take back scheme?
The clothes we sell are of the highest quality and it’s our ambition that most things should last at least three children - or even more if it’s outerwear.
With our take-back scheme we want to encourage the reuse of clothing items, helping creating a circular economy that could potentially reduce fashion's carbon footprint by 73% and water use by 90%, according to estimates by McKinsey.
Reducing the amount of textiles going to waste and to landfill are also key impacts of our circular scheme.
Teaching Sustainable Values:
The impact of our choices today resonates with future generations tomorrow. Engaging in a take-back scheme is an excellent way to instill sustainable values in your children from an early age, contributing to the rising tide of environmentally conscious consumers and helping tackle the issue of overconsumption.
You not only get a voucher to spend at My Little Green Wardrobe every time you send your garments in, you also get to purchase quality second hand kids clothes for far less than their recommended retail price.
As we know, kids grow so fast that sometimes these items are in as-new condition, but cost just a fraction of the price.
Supporting Ethical Practices:
A survey by Fashion Revolution found that 66% of consumers want brands to improve their environmental and social practices. Initiatives like take-back schemes are put in place by ethical and sustainable brands, like My Little Green Wardrobe, committed to reducing their environmental impact.
By participating, you align yourself with companies like ours that prioritise sustainability, signalling demand for an increase in responsible business practices.
How do I get involved with Re:Wardrobe - kids clothing take back scheme?
- You can send back anything previously purchased from My Little Green Wardrobe in exchange for a voucher. A few conditions apply - please see full terms here.
- You get to buy vetted and quality-assured second hand baby & kids clothing made out of premium quality fabrics at a fraction of their normal price.
We have three tiers of Re:Wardrobe baby & kids' second hand clothes:
- Brand New With Tags - in perfect, unworn condition
- Very Good Condition - in almost as-new condition, with few signs of wear
- Gently Worn - this item has been worn, but still has plenty of life left in it. There may be signs of wear eg. bobbling / pilling, or small imperfections.
The former are great options as substitutes instead of buying new, while the latter is a perfect option for everyday wear, childcare settings and outdoor or messy play.
Head of Wardrobe Final Thought
The whole reason I launched My Little Green Wardrobe was in response to the alarming statistics surrounding the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry.
As a result, I brought together a curated collection of ethical and sustainable kids brands that were doing things differently, and helped communicate the good they were doing.
But this alone was not enough.
I wanted to make My Little Green Wardrobe more of a holistic offering that attacked the problem from different angles.
I want to see brands acting more responsibly rather than shifting the onus onto shoppers - and I know you do too!
As parents, we have the power to shape the world our children inherit – let's choose a path that values the planet and promotes a brighter, more sustainable future for all.
I hope you enjoy using our Re:Wardrobe!