4 Ways to Go Green and Save Money on Back-to-School Wardrobes

back-to-schoolBack-to-school time is upon us which means most kids will need a new fall and winter wardrobe. Because buying a new wardrobe each season can get expensive and wasteful. I have been working with ECOlunchbox to help your family go green and buy smart, so we’re sharing a few ways to keep the process green and thrifty. Read on for our top 4 ways to save money and go green when purchasing your student’s back-to-school wardrobe.

#1: Buy Second Hand
Thrift stores and garage sales are usually great places to find kids’ clothes because kids tend to only wear their wardrobe for a season before they’ve grown out of it, thus providing you with a selection of used clothes in pretty great condition—at a much lower price! If the thought of thrift stores turns you off, seek out local consignment stores where the selection is likely to be a little newer and higher-end. The one item I don’t usually purchase second hand is kids’ shoes. Properly-fitted, comfortable shoes are so essential—it’s best to buy these new or acquire a used pair from someone you know, perhaps at a clothing swap.

#2: Arrange a Clothing Swap
Finding a hand-me-down buddy, or someone who’s always willing to give you the clothes their slightly older kid has just grown out of, is also great, but with a clothing swap you get to give back while offloading some outgrown clothes! Clothing swaps for kids tend to work best with a group of families with kids in several different age groups so that you’re not just exchanging too-small clothes for new too-small clothes. Families with multiple kids or siblings staggered between your kids will do just fine! Set a date, time, and pick a house and bring gently worn, washed and folded clothing to the swap—oh yeah, and don’t forget to bring your kids! You’ll want to be able to use the old hold up method or let your kids try on the clothes to make sure they’ll fit. Bringing the kids along also gives them a chance to pick out a few pieces themselves.

#3: Go Green & Local When Buying New
If there are clothing items you can’t find used, consider eco-friendly and sustainable companies to purchase new items from. There are tons of brands and smaller businesses selling organic, sustainably made kids’ clothes just a Google away, and some big box stores like H&M even have organic lines for little ones.

#4: Keep Clothes Nice
One of the best ways to preserve clothing so that it can be passed down to younger siblings, donated, or re-sold at consignment to bring some cash back in is to keep it nice enough to be reused. When clothing encounters a stain, treat it with a non-toxic stain remover before throwing it in the wash so that the stain isn’t set forever. Having a few sets of “weekend clothes”, casual, or lounge clothes at home for your kids to change into after school is also a great way to preserve the life of their school clothes—and help them get cozy and settled into homework time!

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg! What eco-friendly, back-to-school wardrobe tips does your family have?


Full Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored 10 post series with EcoLunchbox – you can find all 10 posts below:

  1. 4 Ways to Go Green and Save Money on Back-to-School Wardrobes
  2. 3 Back-to-School Tips to Help Kids Make Healthy Eating Choices
  3. 3 Tips for Waste-Free Lunches for Back to School
  4. How to Start Phasing Plastics Out of the Kitchen
  5. Waste Free Lunch Gear to Add to Your Lunchbox

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2 Responses to 4 Ways to Go Green and Save Money on Back-to-School Wardrobes

  1. Lori Popkewitz Alper September 8, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    Thanks for the great tips! I love the idea of a clothing swap-we do that among cousins. I always feels great to pass along barely worn clothes to others.


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