Prepping for the Future: Investing in Sustainable Clothing

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If there’s anything that experienced parents can all agree on, it’s that you can never really be too prepared for parenthood. If all the “preparing for parenthood” guides out there are any indication, parenthood requires a whole lot of compromise, and a lot of learning-on-the-go.

But even though you can’t completely prepare for parenthood, this doesn’t mean you can just throw caution to the wind. It’s best to attend to the things that you can prepare for, like baby supplies and furniture. It’s also a good idea to think further into the future and cover your bases, especially in terms of the clothes you’d like your children to wear.

This is rarely an issue for first-time parents, because baby clothes remain to be the most popular gift at baby showers. But children go through countless growth spurts in their younger years, and the need for longer-lasting, more practical clothing becomes all too real. The solution might actually be simpler than you think: unisex clothing.

As Eco Baby Steps notes, one of the most important considerations for choosing children’s clothing has to be its lifespan. “Every child does not need a wardrobe full of new, expensive clothing, and clothing doesn’t have to last just the 6 months or a year that a child fits it,” they write. “When we choose clothing that lasts, we share the costs of quality.” Katie Pietrasik of Tootsa MacGinty agrees wholeheartedly, telling Wales Online that, “Clothes for children should be built for sturdier purposes than the changing vagaries of style – to be passed from sibling to sibling, or friend to friend regardless of gender.”

By investing in unisex clothing, parents ensure that their kids are equipped with clothes that allow them to be children, embracing each growth spurt and adapting with them, and still allowing them to run around and climb trees. Unlike most designer brand clothing, unisex clothing is often made to be easy to alter, so parents can extend sleeves and pant legs to account for any growth spurts. It’s also made with durable material that protects children and lets them move.

The choice to secure unisex clothing for your kids can also help you many years down the road, when your first child gets his or her little brother or sister. Because unisex clothing is so versatile and easy to mix and match with other pieces of clothing, it saves you from going through the trouble of buying a new wardrobe for your youngest again.

It’s also important to keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with giving your second and third children hand-me-downs from their big brother or sister. As The Huffington Post is quick to remind us, “Babies don’t know — and don’t care — if they are using their older sibling’s hand me downs. They don’t have it worse than their older siblings, just because they don’t have a fancy new bouncy seat.” Hand-me-downs are the primary reason why most parents spend less on their second children, having learned the necessities and had some of the essentials (like car seats and strollers) already piled up.

Remember, it’s not always about buying everything you need. As with any other challenge in life, the trick to preparedness is adaptability. You can never truly be prepared for parenthood, but you can cover your bases, and start planning ahead.

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Comments

  1. Yes only those who do not have children will say that the parent never compromises, I remember my sister saying that before she became a mum herself

  2. Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) says:

    Ha! I was the youngest of 3…I don’t think I got a new dress until I was in high school! Laugh! My sister was 14 months older than me, so I think on the occasional Easter I might have been treated to new dress. Oddly, I didn’t think too much about it! Everyone in our neighborhood was the same… our mothers would even trade kids clothes among them, so this was a normal thing to me. The only thing I ever really mourned, was never getting a new bike!!! My brother was 3 years older…I got his t-shirts too! So maybe I was dressing unisex before it was the rage:)

    • Awe, no new bike!? That’s a shame. Although my youngest has gotten his brothers old bikes too so far. Maybe one day he’ll get a new one if he actually rides more often. Haha I’m sure my mother would of had me wear my brothers shirts too if I had one!

  3. My son is of an age (and size) that when he grows out of his clothes they probably fit me.

  4. I don’t have children but would never say that about a parent as I know first hand the many compromises involved. Whether we have children or not, we were all at one time a child and therefore, for most of us, had parents. I agree with you Krystle; it is just the way it goes.

  5. I’m not a parent to a child but this is so smart and clever. And what a great way to plan out and save some money, Jennifer! 🙂

  6. Hi Krystle – the planning ahead part when it comes to parenting is the important thing but even that goes by the wayside from time to time. I totally agree with you about hand-me-downs. Until children get into the upper grades at school, if they just receive one or two new things, they are usually satisfied with wearing their older siblings clothes – some of them even think this is cool. Way to go.

    • My son doesn’t even realize he uses hand me downs most of the time. Occasionally my older son will remember a shirt he used to wear when his brother wears it.

  7. You are right. It is hard to learn for books about parenthood. We can learn best when we experience that.
    This is really a big problem that after few weeks, expensive cloth do not fit to growing children.
    I have only one girl 3.5 years old and still not planning for second so it is not necessary to keep her cloths till that time but if the gap between siblings are less cloths can be kept safe. I normally pass her cloths on to her first cousins who are little younger than her.

    • Parenthood is def not something that is easily learned through books. It’s something you have to experience and learn on the fly. Passing clothes on to cousins is a great idea! I haven’t been saving my youngest clothes since there isn’t a def plan for another child. We shall see 🙂

  8. Unisex clothing is a great idea. Fortunately, I have two girls. Unfortunately they are VERY opinionated about what they wear, so I can’t imagine them being happy about certain unisex things. But at least for us, girl clothing gets worn twice which saves so much money!

    • I understand, luckily I have boys that aren’t too opinionated about what they where. I think I’m more picky than they are. My boys clothes get double duty too, it’s great!

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