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Hand-Me-Downs Make Me Happy

by Cynthia Dermody on July 8, 2009 at 12:27 PM

hand-me-downs

Now those clothes are really old!

Photo by amybuddy45

The following is a guest post from Ideal Bite's Mama Bite Editor Alison Neumer Lara.

We just returned from a big, fancy family wedding, and my daughter Roxane looked like a doll. There's not much more adorable than a big bow on the back of a little girl's dress, but this get-up was also pink and white seersucker with a scallop-edged collar and tiny flowers on the bodice.

And the best part: It was free. The designer dress, which cost a pretty penny at the store, was a hand-me-down from Roxie's older cousin.

Passing or swapping clothes through the chain of family and friends is nothing new,  of course -- kids grow out of stuff so fast, and we'd all rather not fork over the cash, especially right now -- but it's also planet-friendly.

Manufacturing new clothing sucks up resources (think of all the energy needed to process fabric and the fuel to ship all those clothes to stores), then there are the chems leftover from dyeing them.

And if you don't have anyone to hand over spiffy designer duds, try for budget picks at vintage stores and resale web sites, or pick up upcycled kids clothes -- new items fashioned from vintage fabrics.

It's stunning to think that there are tons -- literally tons -- of clothes that end up in landfills every day (each American tosses about 68 pounds of clothes every year). I guess we could stand to reuse a piece now and then. And did I mention the free part?


Question: What percentage of your tot's wardrobe is hand-me-downs?
  1. All 12%
  2. Three-quarters 46%
  3. Quarter to a half 31%
  4. None 9%
Total Votes: 41
Voting on polls is not available on The Stir Mobile.

Filed Under: clothes, green guide

Comments

9
  • ethan...
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    ethans_momma06

    July 8, 2009 at 12:57 PM

    I grew up on hand me downs as I had an older sister and I had a cousin who was 6 months older then me. My DS has doting grandparents who buy him clothes everytime he needs new ones, but I have saved them all for a new little one (if he should ever make a debute). And, I try to donate our old clothes when we are done...I hate throwing them away!


  • evyth...
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    evythecute

    July 8, 2009 at 5:03 PM

    so far in my DDs life everything has been hand me downs from her cousin, or a gift from a family member. i have only bought her maybe 5 items her whole life myself. but she will probably out grow her cousin (who is 3 years older) pretty fast. so probably within the next couple years we will be the ones giving the hand me downs lol.


  • sodapple
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    sodapple

    July 8, 2009 at 8:48 PM

    luckily i was able to meet a great cafemom who lives close to us more than a year she has 5 year old twins, a gir and a boy and a three year old boy, and she has giving a great amount of hand me downs that look as if they are new from her girl and i'm extremely happy and grateful for that, almost all her wardrobe is hand me downs and we have no problems with that. it teaches us to be grateful even more =-D


  • justa...
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    justanotherjen

    July 8, 2009 at 9:34 PM

    Most of my girls clothes were hand me downs from a friend.  Actually when my oldest was a baby about 80% of her clothes came from my friend.  Those were passed down to her 2 younger sisters (some my son was able to wear, too).  These clothes have been through at least 5 or 6 (some of the clothes were hand me downs to my friend in the beginning) kids and I just packed them up for the Salvation Army.

    My friend's dd is an only child of an only child so she has so many clothes she doesn't know what to do with them.  We still get bags from time to time but my girls now pretty much wear the same size as her so it's not very often.  Most of it is name brand or designer labels and some still have tags on.  I tell people if it says Gap, Children's Place, Gymboree, Old Navy, Carter's, Tommy Hilfiger, etc then it was a hand me down, gift or I got it at the SA.  I never shop at those places or buy those brands.  Everything I buy my kids is from Target on the clearance rack.


  • amybu...
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    amybuddy45

    July 9, 2009 at 7:29 AM

    We love hand me downs-it saves us so much money and the clothes are great!  I love to shop thrift stores and consignment shops.  I am prego with my 3rd and it is a girl so I am awaiting for all the hand me downs since I have had 2 boys and gave all my stuff away.When I do buy new stuff it is usually on clearance or just a real good deal.  Oh and thanks for using my pic!!


  • athenax3
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    athenax3

    July 9, 2009 at 9:04 AM

    We pass clothes around, friends, family- everything tends to go back and forth. And I generally shop second hand when I do shop- although for my girls (I have three of them) I didn't have to buy a stitch of clothing for the first several months because I was given so much by friends and family- which I reboxed and passed along to the next momma. We do the same with blankets,bassinets, cribs, bouncee seats- the family that does spend money for a new mom usually spends it on diapers or formula if needed.


  • Freela
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    Freela

    February 1, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    My friends and I love hand me downs... I get a lot of stuff for my girls from a friend, and hand my stuff down to other friends when the kids outgrow it.  Anything I receive that I don't plan to use I donate.  It works out great, and saves me money.


  • melissa
    -- Nonmember comment from

    melissa

    February 2, 2010 at 7:44 PM
    I get a decent amount of hand-me-downs for my daughter from my niece, who is a little over a year older... it actually used to be most of her wardrobe, but now that she's in clothing longer and is harder on them (as is my daughter) it isn't as much... which I'm ok with too.
  • Maegan
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Maegan

    February 3, 2010 at 10:00 AM
    I saved a lot from my first and passed them to my second, but now they're far enough apart that I don't want to hold on to stuff for 3 years. I usually consign it what is still nice, and pass on stuff that wouldn't make the consignment cut. Like, once, a little stray thread had been pulled on a hem and 2 stitches were missing...lol, so it went to a friend instead of consigning. As far as MY kids taking hand me downs, I ALWAYS say yes to HMDs. Will they wear everything we get? Probably not. I do pick through the clothes to see what will match the items we already have. Then I pass them on again. Right now we're not in a community that has a lot of camraderie. I still shop consignment, but we don't have anyone to pass things down.
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