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It's no secret that kids grow fast. I knew that long before I got pregnant. But I don't think I was prepared for just how fast. As soon as I buy a new pair of shoes or jeans for my 4-year-old, it seems like she's outgrown them. She doesn't have an older sister with a closet of hand-me-downs, and all her cousins are so much older that she wouldn't be able to get into their castoffs for years. Plus, I have a rule to buy as much sustainably-made clothing as I can find.
These days, it is getting easier to find clothes made of sustainably-farmed organic cotton, linen, and hemp. But these options often come with a high price tag. In general, I'm not averse to paying more for greener products, because I'm able to justify the expense. When I buy quality green items, they tend to be purchases meant to last a long, long time.
One of my favorite bloggers, Green Grechen, says that she considers cost-per-wear when deciding whether an item is worth its price. That ratio skyrockets when you pay $70+ for a pair of organic jeans for a child who will wear them only for a short time.
So what is a mama with a conscience to do? I've tried shopping thrift stores for used clothing, which is incredibly cost effective. However, the selection is often limited.
I've spent the last year scouring the internet for good deals on kids' eco-fashion. Thanks to the public's growing demand for greener products, many more options are available. However, the cost is still somewhat prohibitive. I've begun shopping clearance and end-of-season sales at stores, trying to anticipate what my daughter's size will be the following year. This has been marginally effective, but I'm still left with the choice between buying cheaply made clothes that are affordable, or letting my daughter wear the same pair of organic jeans over and over again.
I'm more than a little frustrated by this. So I'm enlisting the help of the Seventh Generation Nation. Is shopping for eco-fashion important to you and your family? If so, how do you do it on a budget? I'd love to hear your tips!