Why Buy Secondhand Baby and Kids Clothes
The word secondhand used to have a bit of an undertone, but here at Junico Kids we’re proud to say that we sell and buy secondhand items!
Most of our office furniture and equipment are secondhand. It took time to research and buy the right products that we needed, but we strive to keep our vision to minimise the business’ impact. Our experience buying secondhand is one of the reasons why we want to make the process of buying secondhand clothes as easy as buying new.
Some people ask if it’s okay to wear secondhand clothes, particularly for kids. Personally, we have been wearing secondhand most of our lives, either hand-me-downs or buying from others, and guess what? We’ve survived! The only key is to wash your items thoroughly before you wear them, just like you would with new clothes. In fact, new clothes are often treated with stain-removers, color-fasteners, anti-wrinkle agents, softeners and other chemical treatments, so it is even more important to wash before you wear them!
Why secondhand clothes?
With global fast fashion brands offering clothes at the same price as a cup of coffee, people often wonder why they need to buy secondhand. After all, you can get a new dress for almost nothing, so why not buy new?
It’s because the actual price of the clothes they offer are much higher than what’s on the price tag! Fast fashion brands like H&M and Zara often pay their workers sub-poverty wage, forcing them to work in precarious conditions. All this so they can be “competitive” and sell insanely high volumes of cheap clothing. Zara alone produced over 840 million garments in one year. These items often have poor quality, so they tend to have a shorter life and end up in the landfill sooner compared to other better quality products.
This makes fashion disposable. Did you know Australians produce 6,000 kg of fashion waste every 10 minutes? Six tonnes in ten minutes! This likely includes a large portion of kids’s clothes because they can be quickly outgrown, particularly in the early ages of growth. And they all go to the landfill, where most of them will not decompose and remain pollutants to the environment for many years to come.
By buying secondhand, you help increase the clothes’ life (even if they’re from fast fashion), reducing their overall impact and reducing demand for new clothing. With more people buying secondhand, we signal to the fashion industry that we want the production model of the fashion industry to change.
Where can I buy second hand clothes online in Australia?
Thankfully as the movement to reuse clothing gains momentum, it is easier than ever to find secondhand clothes! You can visit your local op shops or browse online stores like Junico Kids. Our website even allows you to search using keywords, so you can find things easily.
What happens to second hand clothes when we’re done using them?
After you or your kids enjoy the clothes, you can sell them in a marketplace or directly to a store like Junico Kids. Some stores also have a buyback scheme, so you could bring your old clothes there. Alternatively, you could donate or pass them down to family and friends. If you choose to donate the clothes, please try as much to donate to speciality organisations, such as St Kilda Mums, who would more likely channel these clothes to people in need in your local area (instead of sending them in bulk to other countries). This way, you help reduce the carbon footprint of those clothes.
If the clothes are no longer in wearable condition, consider recycling them into other uses such as a mop. Stay tuned - in the upcoming journal article we will share a few ideas on how to turn unused clothing articles into coasters, tote bags, and other useful items. Some people call this upcycling. We like that word a lot!
Al and team xo