Second hand, vintage & thrift finds are FAR healthier and SAFER for your baby than anything you can buy brand new. Why? Well, read on for 30 reasons that will make your second hand shopping experience SO much more fun!
1. All fabrics have been âgassedâ with toxic dyes, permanent press chemicals *formaldehyde* & colour fixatives before they are packaged & sent to retailers. Hence why youâre told to always WASH a new garment before wearing! You REALLY want that stuff leaching into your kids' skin???
2. Buying second hand or vintage for your baby (and yourself!) means its been washed dozens of times and has had a chance to âoff gasâ. This means basically the garment has been allowed to air & alot of the toxicity has been released via oxygen airing & washing. Much safer for your bubs.
3. Vintage & second hand finds are often sturdier than store bought - theyâve already lasted through a child or 5 before you & theyâre STILL in good condition!
4. Second hand shopping means less landfill. Period.
5. Second hand shopping & vintage finds means you can be a little creative - YOU can mix & match the outfits, not the designers. As your child grows they can begin to express themselves more through their choice of clothes from your local Vinnies.
6. Vintage stores & second hand shops are the ULTIMATE for stocking the dress up box!
7. You can often find fabric samples that havenât been used for BARGAIN prices so you can go home & make your own. Wash before using as some fabric shrink quite a bit.
8. Toys at vintage stores have that olde worlde charm about them; the Victorian Dolls house complete with lace detail, the 1920âs rocking horse with a real horses mane & tail - you just canât buy things like this anymore!
9. They can become family heirlooms which is a tradition that has sadly become less frequent in our consume & dispose way of life. Start it up again in your family by buying quality pre-loved items with a story!
10. Theyâre cheaper. SO much cheaper!
12. Kids barely notice what you buy them - theyâll love it for 2 seconds then theyâre onto the next thing. So why spend the extra money for that brand new âmust haveâ Bratz doll that theyâre not even going to remember having in a years time?
13. Thereâs far less chance of buying anything at a Vintage store of second hand market that resembles a street walking hooker in high heeled boots. You donât want THAT message going out to your 3 year old little girl do you?
14. Youâre far more likely to find one off handmade items than in any store. How many kids are wondering round in Pumpkin Patchâs latest flog? And how many are wondering round in gorgeous handmade ponchos & booties? I know which look I prefer!
15. Compliments about for a beautifully handmade, one of a kind item. Not so much with something store bought - you think it would be the opposite; you spend the money on something new at the store & no one notices! Annoying much? LOL
16. Hand me downs are usually more possible with things well made, hand made or vintage. Store bought âcheapiesâ tend to fall apart after a few wears.
17. It is by far and away the MOST eco friendly way to go! And if queried you can say youâre doing your bit to be green.
19. If you teach kids early on the value of being green theyâll actually PREFER not buying something new. Simple questions like âHow are we giong to reuse that packaging on that new toy if we buy it?â will be enough to have older kids stop & think.
20. You can spend money on things like the Tiffany Baby Rattle but a pringles tin with rice is just as effective... in fact theyâll enjoy the pringles tin more. You donât need the aggravation of watching that money not be played with do you?
21. As your kids get older, theyâll look back & remember âMum used to make our dress up clothesâ or âMum used to get out there & do fingerpainting with us on old sheets to make new doona coversâ. They wonât so much remember that you bought them a Maccas Happy Meal every week just for the free toy to shut them up.
22. It means more quality time with them - the creativity you need to make thrift finds just that little bit more perfect for your kids = more time with them, more time thinking about them, more time in a general space of pleasant creativity as opposed to a space of frustration or tiredness.
23. Its fun! I love thrift shopping! I make it a challenge to NOT buy anything at a normal store & see if I can find something the same (or better) at a second hand place. Means no buying on impulse either!
24. If you do it for yourself too, no one will ever turn up anywhere looking the same as you!
25. Youâre instilling in your kids an appreciation for where things come from & where theyâre going to end up. This is a WORLD changing attitude & it starts at home - with you.
26. Youâre also teaching them that âthingsâ do not the person make. If you make the process fun, adventurous & enjoyable, theyâll realise as they grow up that happiness is not a new dress every week. Wish I known that in my teens & 20âs - OUCH goes the credit card!
NB: Caveat here: Car seats & capsules should be scrutinized before purchasing second hand. Try not to buy one more than 5 years old, nor one that has been dropped, in a car accident or damaged somehow. Inspect carefully before committing to buy.
28. Its pretty easy to scrub up something you buy second hand - without chemicals. Vinegar & water or bicarb with lemon for a more abrasive clean. Soak in vinegar & bicarb then wash as normal if clothing or soft toys.
29. To make things EVEN more safe, remove the petro-chemical stuffing from toys & stuff with dryer lint or organic cotton wool. Cover your child seat, pram seat & capsule with an organic or previously loved cover to prevent the flame retardant chemicals found therein leaching into your babyâs skin. And yes, all these items and more have nasty brominated flame retardants all through and over them them - some of the nastiest chemicals around. Wool is a natural flame retardant so you can use that in place of cotton if you prefer.
30. Did I mention its cheap, eco & prevents MORE landfill? Mama Gaia thanks you with every sunset & rainbow you see :)
There we go! 30 reasons why buying thrift, second hand, hand made or vintage is FAR better all round for your babies & children than going brand new.
Set yourself a challenge - no visits to the supermarket or department stores for a week... see how you go finding alternatives elsewhere.
And if you get the whinge from your kids say to them âIf you can figure out a way to use ALL the packaging on that toy & promise me that when youâre done with it you will give it to a charity cause for a needy child then MAYBE we can think about buying it...â or even ask them âHow we could we make that ourselves?â to get them thinking about the effort and materials that go into these latest fads that they simple âhave to haveâ.
You may not win everytime but if they are taught consequences for purchases & made to agree to finding alternative ways to dispose of things that are eco friendly, youâre on the right track to creating a greener world for THEIR kids as well as your own!
Love & eco kisses
The Eco Mum xo
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