Babies grow so quickly that many clothes that fit them one day will be too small the next. So it makes good financial sense to look for bargains when it comes to your baby’s wardrobe. Fortunately, what’s good for your wallet is also what’s best for the planet. Gently used, or “pre-loved” baby clothes can save you a fortune while also helping to reduce waste and minimize the consumption of new materials. Another great benefit is that most of the chemical finishes used on conventional fabrics wash away over time, so used conventional clothing is actually healthier for your baby than new! Here are some of the best ways to find green baby clothes on a budget.
Let your friends and family members know that you are on the lookout for lightly used baby clothes. You may not know someone directly, but your friends and family may know someone who is willing (and often thrilled) to clean out their closets and pass on their baby's old clothes. Another alternative is to look for clothing swaps in your area that allow you to bring in a bag of gently used clothing to exchange for another. This is especially useful as your child gets older as you can bring in a bag of clothing that she has outgrown and replace it with new stuff.
eBay, thrift stores, and yard sales
If you are looking for specific styles, colors, or sizes of baby clothing, you can find great bargains by shopping for pre-loved duds online or at your local thrift stores and yard sales. Check out eBay for deals new on gently used organic baby clothing. Browse the selections at your local thrift store and be sure to check your local newspaper listing for any upcoming yard sales that will feature baby clothing.
Homemade baby clothes
If you are handy with a needle and thread, you may be able to make some organic clothing for your baby at a fraction of the price of new. Check out your local fabric store or retailer to find easy, affordable patterns that can help you make everything from onesies to jackets. If you are new to sewing, start by making simple pieces like a pair of pants or leggings and build from there as you get the hang of it. You can also crochet or knit a lot of fun, simple pieces for your baby such as baby caps, booties and sweaters. Another alternative is to purchase plain organic clothing and embellish it with iron-ons, bows, appliqués, or even fabric paint. When you make your own baby clothing you get unique, “boutique-style” clothing at about a quarter of the price that you’d pay in a store. For more information and ideas about making homemade baby clothes, check out Make Your Own Baby Stuff or browse through the free knitting and sewing patterns at Knitting Pattern Central or Unique Baby Gear Ideas.