No, don’t walk around in the buff, that would be mad (and likely illegal!) But there are a few alternatives to hitting the high street, if you fancy some new clothes, but are on a budget, don’t want to support high-street stores or are not very good at sewing! Of course you could hit local thrift shops (not big charity shops that spend money on animal testing and company cars).
Create a Capsule Wardrobe
Whatever materials you wear, this is the answer. Figure out what you like to wear and that flatters your own figure, then choose a few good items to build a capsule wardrobe. Just update each season with one or two pieces if wished, and then donate the rest (or sell online or to dress agencies).
Project 333 is the book to help you do this. Author Courtney Carver is a minimalist blogger. Wear just 33 items for 3 months, and get back the joy of wearing clothes, rather than just buying ‘fashion mistakes’ that sit in the wardrobe for years, then get thrown away.
The Ultimate Book of Outfit Formulas sets you up to make fashion fun, by building a basic beautiful wardrobe starting with clothes you already own, and adding classic mix-and-match elements to work for any season, on any budget. Once your wardrobe is set, just use the easy outfit formulas.
Vegan Style is not just a guide to all the best plant-based fibres and designs, but also includes a chapter on how to design your own vegan capsule wardrobe.
Swap the Clothes You Have
Swishing (not swinging – that’s another type of swapping!) is the name given to swapping clothes. You can just arrange a party with friends or colleagues. Everyone simply digs out everything they don’t wear in their wardrobe, takes it along and you all go home with new clothes. It’s ideal if you have a new style or have lost/gained weight, as everyone can just take home something that may not suit anyone else, and it doesn’t cost a penny.
Sites like Nuw and Big Sister Swap let you gain ‘credits’ for passing on clothes, that you then use to ‘buy’ other clothes. Just upload clothes from your own wardrobe into the app, browse thousands of others, use your credit to request them, then arrange shipping.
Where to Rent Organic Children’s Clothing
It’s nice to buy organic cotton clothing for children (like Piccalilly). But many parents can’t afford it. So many families with heavy hearts, go to Primark or the like to buy cheaper clothing. However, there is another way. You could join a clothing rental agency instead. This way, your child benefits from wearing healthy natural fibres, you help the planet – and when your child quickly grows out of the clothes, you just rent bigger clothes!
Some crib death experts say not to let babies wear ‘sleeping bags’ or items that could over-heat. You may wish to avoid these. Also always take off hats on babies in cars or when going to higher indoor temperatures.
You can donate certain children’s items like clothes to charities. Many goods (like toys) must have safety kitemarks. Items like mattresses (could be mouldy) and car seats (could be unsafe) are not accepted. Just bin them.
- The Little Loop offers 12,000 items to choose from, with unlimited swaps and insurance included. Like most agencies, don’t worry if your baby drops food or gets sick on the clothes, it’s all covered. These things happen.
- Bundlee offers savings of around £1000 (babies grow through 7 sizes in around 2 years). With free returns, you’ll never be short of lovely clothes for your young one to wear.
- Graceful Changes saves you up to 75% on the cost of buying new. Yet you still get to support the brands that you would ideally choose if you had lots of money, and they get to be supported, rather than big chain stores.
- LullaLoop offers a stylish wardrobe for children up to 2 years. Parents typically rent an item for around 3 months before returning.