Second hand kids clothes – the easiest way to a sustainable wardrobe
Do you remember getting up in the middle of the night to get the best pieces at the flea market? Every first Sunday of the month, my family looked forward to this particular event. While us kids were searching for the coolest toys, my parents took the opportunity to dress us in new second hand kids clothes. If there was one thing we were quite good at, it was growing.
Today, as a mother myself, I understand my parents' intentions better than ever. The first time I threw something away that had never been worn, I began to rethink my approach to shopping for children's clothing. I mean, do they really need a tenth jumper and a brand new piece every time?
Second hand kids clothes are the perfect antidote to our throwaway culture. It is not only affordable, but also gives you a ton of options and is kind to the environment. Read on to find out everything there is to know about shopping for second-hand clothes for children!
Why buy Second Hand kids clothes?
This question is especially relevant when we stroll through the kids sections of big fast fashion stores. It is very tempting to grab that t-shirt for 5 Euros and not many can resist. But when you think of the quality and how long the item will last, it becomes easier to move on.
So how do you invest in good quality clothes second-and reduce your personal ecological footprint? Second-hand clothes are the answer! Organic second-hand clothing especially offers great value for money, lasts longer and can be worn by several siblings. And it is also easy to sell on again. This way, several generations of kids can benefit from wonderfully unique pieces that each family can combine into different outfits.
Photo by Markus Spiske @ Unsplash
Do's and Don'ts
Now you are probably asking yourself, what to pay attention to when shopping second-hand. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, we have the most important Do’s and Don'ts for you!
1. The right size?
A second hand piece doesn’t always have to fit perfectly. Don’t worry if an item doesn't fit perfectly, or if you’re unsure whether it will. When shopping online, your tailor of choice can easily alter any piece of clothing. Or maybe you are talented enough to fix a bad fit yourself! Custom-made clothing for very little money!
2. The quantity counts
No matter whether it's a flea market or an online platform: If you buy several pieces, you're in a good position to bargain. You'll also need less packaging, saving CO2 and packaging waste.
3. Not everything has to be second-hand
There are some exceptions to second-hand. Underwear and socks for example are best bought new. Also watch out when it comes to kids shoes. Even if they are hardly used, the footbed might already be worn in and will no longer fit. One exception are barefoot shoes, where there basically is no footbed.
4. No returns
Beware of private purchases. Because there is no right of return, make sure you check every little detail upfront. Once you receive the clothes, there is no going back. But don't worry if you do purchase a wrong piece sometimes - there will always be someone else looking for it. Maybe someone in your own circle of friends wants it instead, so keep the circle going!
5. Capsule Wardrobe
Minimalism is currently all the rage, because less is more. Create an individual capsule wardrobe with the help of a moodboard and try to create the most diverse outfits with just a few items. Combine your favourite colours and styles to create the perfect wardrobe and be as creative as possible with it. You can put your moodboard together from magazines and photos or make it digital on platforms like Pinterest. Inspiration and fun guaranteed!
6. From old to new
Thrift flip! Even the worst styles can be transformed into classy outfits, so let's get creative with upcycling second hand kids clothes. For example: It is easy to make a skirt from a dress, or decorating jeans with old pieces of fabric. There are many tricks to upcycle clothes without being an expert on the sewing machine and no limits to your creativity!
Online - Something for everyone
Getting up early is not one of your strengths and going to the flea market on a rainy day is not really for you? No problem, because there are numerous online shops out there for you! Here are our top places to find second hand kids clothing online.
The platform previously known as “Mamikreisel” and “Kleiderkreisel” is now called “Vinted”. It is one of the absolute go-to sites for second-hand clothing and really stands out with a wide selection in almost every price range. And not only clothing - you can also find accessories, toys and numerous housewares at a low price here.
If you're looking for unique pieces, Depop is an amazing place for stylish and cool second-hand designer pieces. There really is something for everyone!
Do you love second hand kids clothes, but are not sure how to put the perfect outfit together? On Poshmark, a community of fashion lovers will create the perfect vintage look for you!
If you don’t find what you’re looking for on Etsy, it probably doesn’t exist. Here you can look for individual pieces instead of having to skim through thousands in a second-hand shop. And all this while supporting small businesses and private sellers. Win - Win!
5. Vestaire Collective
Lovers of haute couture can also get their money's worth when it comes to second-hand. At Vestaire Collective, you can find the hottest designers for up to 70% off.
6. eBay Kleinanzeigen or Nebenan
If you want to save on shipping, you can find a good selection of second hand kids clothes on Ebay Kleinanzeigen, Nebenan or Facebook Marketplace. With a bit of luck, last-minute shopping can be done spontaneously and without complications.
Do you have a special event coming up? You can also rent your second-hand clothes from platforms such as Räubersachen. And if you fall in love with one of the pieces, you can simply purchase and keep them!
8. Bubblemum Society
Fancy getting your second hand kids clothing from a real-life super mum's start-up? Yes Please! Julia has fulfilled her dreams by creating an online store for second hand kids clothing with Bubblemum Society. This marketplace is super organised and every single piece is neatly categorised, making your shopping experience as easy as can be! Another huge benefit when buying through Bubblemum Society is that every seller is verified, making any unwanted surprises a thing of the past!
9. Second hand shops online
If you want to support small local businesses, check out Mama Mias Second Händchen or der kleine Filou. These amazing women made their passion a career and now sell second hand kids clothes - online and offline.
10. Local magazines
Whenever you want to visit a flea market, it is definitely worth taking a look at your local magazines or communities on Facebook. Here you can find the most beautiful markets in your area and maybe even turn it into a family outing.
Our tip: Pregnant women can often get in early by showing their Mutterpass at the door.
Second-hand clothing is not a one-way street
Did your kids grow out of their beautiful “new” clothes faster than expected? Time to keep the cycle going and pass those clothes onto the next generation!
To become an expert second-hand seller, compare current selling prices of similar items before listing them on a platform. The more places you advertise, the more likely your item will find a new home.
For your potential customer to get a good overview of what you’re selling, describe the clothes in lots of detail and give measurements. Nice pictures - especially of the clothes being worn - increase the chances of getting a good price.
To be easily found, some platforms offer the possibility of adding Hashtags or Keywords. This will make it easier for you to come up in a targeted search and more people will take notice of your products.
Photo by Maude Frédérique Lavoie @ Unsplash
For a better world
You see, second hand kids clothes are not as complicated as they may seem. Building an individual and sustainable wardrobe is not just fun but can become a creative hobby. It also allows your family to be eco-friendly and reduces your ecological footprint.
Thanks to a huge community of second-hand sellers and endless possibilities, you don't have to hold on to hordes of worn clothes anymore. Somebody else will definitely love your former favorites!
So, what are you waiting for?
(Our tip: Organisations like Deutsche Rote Kreuz, AWO, Caritas and SOS Kinderdörfer are always happy to receive any clothing donations!)