Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Recycling more than just junk.

So how do you feel about getting second hand clothes for your kids? We grew up getting clothes from cousins and passing on.

I for one, love it! If they are in good condition it's truly a blessing. It's more about saving a couple of rands for not buying  a few outfits, it is also about being "green" - using stuff over again, reducing our carbon footprints. The other great thing about it is having some clothes to add to my sale loot bought at the previous year's sales so that you have clothes ready when unexpectedly, for instance, summer arrives very soon like this week. Yes, I do support giving clothes for charity, and that is where most of my kids' clothes go, but some are in such great condition - still perfect, or really high end nice stuff that I would wish someone else that I know could use it.

The situation at present is that no one passes clothes on to me - I have never had a friend with an older girl, the cousins are way older. As to the boys, I used to have a friend that had a boy about 2 years older and I got quite a bit for her -but now they have a little boy in the family and that has stopped. I am fine with that -we do not really need it, but I would surely not mind getting some passed on.

As to passing on, my mom's church supports a family that has twin boys exactly a year younger than mine - I pass everything on to them and some to Lucy for her one grand child. The really best things goes to a friend's son - she is also more than grateful. I have kept the best of the girls stuff,  the rest goes to the same charity I send the boys stuff to or to Lucy's church. Imagine my shock when the intended recipient informed me on Thursday night that he would rather I give the clothes to someone who really needs it. We are talking about a Woollies' brilliant knitted coat, two stunning Naartjie outfits, a Pumpkin patch jacket and some good quality Woollies stuff. The only thing he took was one Keedo dress.( I have to admit it is beautiful). To be honest, I felt rather foolish. I know they refuse to buy expensive clothes for their girl and often shop at PEP or Ackermans so I did not expect this at all.I am not sure if he just did not want to have more to pack?

On Saturday night we had our good buds (who has 3 girls) over for rugby and as we usually do, after the game, we gave the boys a bath in our bathroom and the 3 big girls in the kids bathroom. So I and I sat chatting on our bed while they played and she noticed that one of her girl's PJ top was not in the bag she brought. I took out the bag of clothes that was discarded to get her some PJ's there - they fitted perfectly. Now they have no shortage of money, in fact, they are more comfortable money-wise than any of our friends. Fancy house, top of the range 4x4 etc - they surely do not need to save. She asked what I am going to do with the bag of clothes and I told her the history. I offered the bag if she wanted it, as I was just going to pass onto charity. She was so happy to take every single item. For exactly the same reasons I love to get hand me downs. I mean, why not save? Why not save the planet too? When she is done with them she will in turn pass them on to charity in any event. Do we live in such a consumer society that everything has to be the best and brand new?

So what is your opinion? I really want to know. Am I old fashioned to subscribe to these principles? Be honest, I really want to know.


  1. I grew up with hand-me-downs from my older sister. I never used to grumble about it and now I do the same with my girls.

    If there is nothing wrong with it - recycle it.

  2. I love receiving hand me downs, whether for me or my girls! And i pass on gladly - all my eldest's things get sorted and the 'not so nice, but still good condition' i pass onto my gardener for her grandaughters. the more expensive goodies i save for Polly. Once Polly's clothes are too small i sort into 3 piles, one for my sister, one for my neighbour adn the other for my nanny's little girl.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with passing down of clothes! In fact, most of the pics you see that my sister posts on her blog, Bean is wearing Polly's castoffs!

  3. I agree with you 100%. I wish I had someone who could pass stuff on to me for J, but sadly I don't. I give all his old but good stuff to my upstairs neighbour. They are not struggling per se, but can use the help. She is ever so grateful and mentioned that she had enough money to pay the deposit for the youngest son's school because she didn't have to buy clothes. I felt so good about that. It's so awesome to know you've helped someone.
    Your BIL and SIL are really odd. Rather give the stuff to someone who appreciates it.

  4. I love receiving and passing on hand-me-downs! There is nothing as satisfying as wearing an item, or dressing my girls in an item that I knew was worn by somebody I know! The clothes are full of history...
    Nothing wrong with it! :D

  5. I was the first to have children in my family...so I never had the privilege of getting hand me downs. I see with my children...they pass on what the little ones have outgrown and most of the clothes still look brand new. I am all for handing down clothing.

  6. Okay, you asked. This is a hot topic for me!

    Personally, I love hand-me-downs. A friend at work asked me recently if I'd like some babygrows for Connor and I said, "like? I'd LOVE THEM" - and I do! Saved me at least R400!

    I feel like Karen said - that there's some history in the clothes because of who had them before :)

    I think that some people have issues because they think you think they can't afford stuff.

    I have no such issues - I love recycling and I like not spending where I don't have to.

    I do have lots of friends though who have different values to what I do and "my child must have the VERY BEST of everything" - okay then... whatever floats your boat. LOL Another said to me "I will NEVER dress my child in second hand clothing"

    My Lord, what is the issue? As long as it's clean and not broken....

  7. P.S. I got some clothes from "my friend with the twins" for Kendra when she was little (under 6 months) but then that stopped because she stopped buying and herself got hand me downs.

    My sister gives me stuff for Connor now and again - lots of summer things last year and hopefully the boy still fits into some of the bigger things this year :)

    I love the fact that they're in the same clothes as my nephew and my friend's girls :)

  8. I was the oldest kid among most friends and relatives while growing up so I didn't get hand-me-downs, but my siblings certainly did.

    My first kid is also the oldest, I was a bit quick off the mark with the baby making. His clothes have gone on to clothe a number of younger kids though and there have been some seasons when I haven't had to buy anything at all really, other than school uniforms and underwear, for Caitlin because my mother's next door neighbour was passing all her girls' clothes on to us.

  9. I think that as long as the items are gently used, then hand-me-downs are just fine:-)

  10. We love handmedowns! LOVE THEM! Wish we lived closer so we could share too.

  11. We love hand me downs! I don't think I could have survived without them over the years. Plus, how fun is it for friends to recognize clothes on your kids and see their own memories with them!

  12. Ek het vergeet *** blush ***

    Jy het huiswerk.

  13. Absoluut goeie rentmeesterskap. En daar is iets so spesiaals aan "ge-erfde" klere -- 'n soort van familie-behorentheid.

  14. It is a funny thing but for the most part "hand me downs" are not really wanted in South Africa while here in England it is pretty much the norm and I can quite honestly say I have only bought Nicholas two pairs of shorts and a couple of tshirts in 2.5 years. Absolutely EVERYTHING else has been given to us. Think it is more a cultural thing out there, but wish that people could see it not so much as charity but as the blessing it really is. Your BIL certainly lost out by the sounds of it

  15. Love hand me downs

  16. Ours is the first granchild, and first child amongst most of our close (geographically speaking) friends so we have not received many hand-me-downs. The few that I have recieved have been very graciously received. I love getting them.

    We plan on having a second child so I am not giving away any of our clothes at the moment, but as soon as we are done we will pass them on or give them to a charity.

    Its quite funny as a few of my wealthier friends love hand me downs, but some of the ones that are not so well of refuse them? Odd, but maybe they feel they have less to prove?

  17. Yip, Logan is lucky enough to walk around in hand me downs!

    Your BIL and SIL probably felt horribly embarrassed, which is probably a sure sign that they could use the help. Sad!

  18. Kan nie glo hoe 'n magie so vinnig kan groei nie. My word 15 kg is regtig min. My een vriendin se man het tydens haar tweeling swangerskap gesĂȘ daar is twee goed wat jy van die maan af kan sien... The great wall of china en haar maag!

  19. I have no problems with "hand me downs" or buying used clothes from sales. We have "Mom 2 Mom" sales here and you can find great things! I often buy at least 1/2 of the kids clothes there. I've also received lots of hand me downs from friends and have passed a lot on, too.

  20. we love Recycled clothing...I think half of my wardrobe is hand-me-downs and I know a bunch of the kiddos stuff is...we love it. My neighbor has brought over a few things (her youngest is 2.5yr older than mine) for my Maggie...but hand me downs are few and far between for James.
    I am saving all of their stuff in case we try for another kiddo, but if not-we will have a yard sale and provide others with cheap hand me downs...

  21. We got connected with a mom of a set of boy twins almost a year older than ours. They were handed down clothes from a set of twins 2 yrs older than them! So, it's a mostly good system. Some of the clothes are over-worn but most are good. The only problem we have is that our boys are growing a bit faster than theirs, so sometimes we get things that are already too small. We also like buying some new things, but who doesn't like a few new things? Sometimes you see something you love (even then it will always be sale or clearance!)


So what's on your mind?