Second-hand clothing: what comes to mind when you think of it? Well there are two camps on this topic, or maybe more. Let’s stick with two. One gets excited (my hand raised over here) and one has no reaction out loud but inside they think “NEVER”. There are so many ways to slice this topic and each person has a point. So I’d like to ask for a minute of your time if you are in the “NEVER” camp. **If you are in the excited camp, read on and tell me if I missed any other great points.
Depending on which culture you come from, clothing can mean many different things. Status is probably one of the first things that come to mind and then of course personal style and personal statement follow. So second-hand clothing might not be what you think of when it comes to status but definitely fits personal statement in certain cases. And for children, second-hand clothing many times means, “hand me downs”. But the world is changing. If you don’t live under a rock, you have noticed sustainability is the key term popping up everywhere from your grocery store to your neighborhood café, and even your children’s kindergartens (amongst many other places).
The clothing industry (many times called fast fashion) is the second greatest polluter in the world today. There is a tremendous excess of clothing in the world. So much so, that I would argue in a third world country its easier to go hungry rather than be without clothing. Landfills are full of mountains of clothing that is not recycled and will eventually end up polluting water and earth.
So ok, all this is maybe too much to think about for one person. Maybe like you, I become overwhelmed when reading reports on fast fashion offenses to the environment and it becomes difficult to understand what can I do to help. But this doesn’t make the problem go away and for me it has worked to take small steps in my day-to-day consumption. And clothing has been one place where it is possible to make this change with relative ease. So let’s get to it.
- Second-hand shopping is more exciting
Buying second hand clothing for my daughter is just more fun. It feels like a treasure hunt and I really enjoy finding amazing pieces and brands for really really low prices.
Also, when she wears the clothing, specifically the dressier pieces, I feel more relaxed if she spills something or tears it. Bringing us to the second point:
- Budget friendly
Buying second-hand is a no brainer. Especially in Israel, where prices are sometimes 5 times that of the States or Europe, second-hand clothing for your children is a great way to save up for other expenses that will be more memorable for the family like travel. Children grow faster than you can say “fast”, so buying top name brands at an average of 70% discount adds up and adds up quick. You still get to enjoy the quality of the brand and keep your wallet.
- It’s Eco-Friendly
As I wrote above, second-hand shopping is one of the more ethical ways of consuming. Aside from slow-fashion, which in my opinion is just way too expensive to buy for children, second-hand clothing is a wonderful and powerful way to live more sustainably. “From cotton farming, which consumes a lot of water, to the release of untreated dyes in drinking water sources, to low wages and poor working conditions, the social and environmental costs of the textile industry. are widespread “(Rachel Bick, Erika Halsey, Christine C. Ekenga,” The Global Environmental Unfairness of Fast Fashion “in Environmental Heatlh)
- Healthier for your baby
Yes, you heard me right. Second-hand clothing is healthier for your child. Used clothing has been washed several times before it reaches you, therefore all the toxins have been washed out. So it won't get on your baby's skin. And by you continuing to give life to the piece of clothing you also won’t be adding more toxins to the water.
With Treehouse, when you shop you are also giving back to the community around you. Through our partnerships with Mothers Make a Difference and Ani Shlishi, your child can wear their pre-loved clothing proudly. That cute dress gave another child a formula and sweet overalls donated toward a young person’s education. It’s a win-win for everyone. Sometimes things that sound too good to be true are true.
Clothing is always a great way to start living a more green life. Plus when they come home with dirt up to their necks, you won’t feel so stressed about it. With that said there are items on which you shouldn’t bargain. It will be covered in the next article. Until then, have fun browsing our collection!