Eco BabyEco Parenting with Camilla

Children & Clothing

4 Mins read

Let’s talk about clothes.

We are unfortunately living in times where a throw-away culture is acceptable, and in some places even the norm.

So what do you normally do when your children’s clothes start to get that worn out look? Maybe the colour starts to fade, maybe they rip a hole in the knee of their jeans. Do you repair them or throw them out? Kid’s outgrow their clothes so fast, and so it’s important to keep in mind how best you can put them to use. 

Here are some helpful tips and suggestions for how to bring life back to children’s clothes that have seen better days.

1. Fixing a hole.

Fixing hole

A little hole in your child’s sleeve can often spell a death sentence for that shirt. However, you can breathe some life back into their clothes by either using a fun or colourful patch to mend a hole, or fixing worn out sleeve edges by embroidering them. Small personal touches can make an item of clothing completely unique and also make your child feel like you added a magical ingredient: love. All that time and care will pay off when they can carry on using their favourite top for a little while longer.

2. Bring back the colour!

Oftentimes colours will fade in our favourite garments. This is especially the case with black clothes. This is particularly obvious with black clothes because black normally goes with everything and can really tie an outfit together. So when the colour starts to go in black items, they look faded and old faster than other colours. The great thing is you can buy clothes dye to freshen up the colour. Many people were wearing a lot of black clothes, so you probably have quite a few items you can colour at the same time. One pack of dye will go a long way as you are freshening up the colour rather than dying from one colour to another. There are also lots of dyes that are more environmentally friendly than others. Seek out the ones that are healthier for the planet, and you will probably also find ones that are healthier for your skin. You can dye them in your washing machine, or by hand – see what is available to you and save your black clothes from ending up in the trash.

3. Rollaway lint.

By rolling away lint, you can really revitalise a pair of trousers or a top. Clothes can often look old and worn out, when they get that textured look when lint or other things get stuck to them. The problem is easily solved by using a lint roller.

4. Remove stains.

Rather than giving up on your child’s favourite T-shirt with the quirky cartoon character that they love on the front, use strain remover to get rid of any pesky stains. Sometimes even just washing up liquid that you’d normally use to wash your dishes with is enough to do the trick.

Stains

I also remember a friend of mine recommending sunlight to get certain spots like carrot stains on baby clothes out. Just wash the clothes as normal, and then leave to dry in direct sunlight. The sunlight would remove the carrot stains. Whenever I tried I’d always think: wow, weird but true! Alternatively, if you spill beetroot and just cannot remove the red stain, consider dying the top or onesie red all over. You could even experiment with tie-dye and get your children involved to have some fun, making circles with elastic bands when dying your clothes. Lifetime memories of creative fun could be made, and without throwing your old clothes out. There are also lots of recipes for using natural colourants such as turmeric, or chokeberries etc. to colour your kid’s clothes if you’re not a fan of chemicals.

5. Save Your Threads!

Lastly, if you really must discard your old clothes, consider giving them to a charity shop. Yes, maybe they are too worn to be sold to others, but oftentimes they sell their old fabrics on to be used again. Certain clothing stores also trade old fabrics for discount vouchers to be used in their shops. It helps the environment when we are able to reuse the threads and fabrics.

6. Thrift it Up

Thrift Shopping

Speaking of charity shops, it’s much more environmentally friendly to buy your children’s clothes from charity and thrift shops, and it can be more economical too. That way we as a collective are producing less, which ultimately benefits the environment. Minimalism is the way forward in these ‘throw-away’ times.

7. Choose Organic 

They say organic clothing is expensive, but let me tell you, it’s all worth it, given the longevity of it. Organic cotton clothing is not just more breathable and comfortable, they don’t use harmful dyes in the process, a win-win for our babies and the environment. 

Read more about organic baby clothing here.

Other ways that you can also shift to a more environmentally friendly approach when it comes to your children’s clothes, are to buy a size bigger so that they can wear them now and also grow into them. Added bonus to that is that if they shrink when you wash them(which sometimes happens, especially with cottons), it’s not a problem and you won’t have to buy more to replace with.

While we are on the point of washing clothes, there are lots of opportunities to shift to a more eco-friendly approach here – from washing at lower temperatures and line drying instead of using a tumble dryer (which both use less electricity) to using eco-friendly detergents that are non toxic for the environment and our kids. 

I think the thing to remember is that every day we have so many opportunities to shift to more environmentally friendly ways of doing things. Our everyday actions can accumulate to make a big difference, and the more our children see us doing these things, and naming them, the more they can take these habits on as their own when they move out and eventually start their own families. We are instilling values in them by role modelling healthy ways of doing things.

You’re not alone. Share your experiences, tips, tricks; post your questions or even challenge what we’ve written! Let’s build an eco-conscious community together!

Happy Shifting!

Camilla Gammelgaard-Baker is Parenting Coach and Psychodynamic Counsellor working with clients all over the world. With a background in psychology and with 20+ years experience of working with families, she is known for her work with Mothers to overcome self-doubt and burn-out. She currently lives a very eco-friendly life in Denmark with her husband, son, cat and dog.

CamillaParentingCoach.com

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