Blog by Hanna
Sustainable Merton Community Champion & Merton Green Parents Coordinator
The Merton Green Parents group was recently relaunched, and we had our first meet-up in Wimbledon Park. We hold monthly meet-ups for local parents who want to make their parenting journey more sustainable. This month’s topic was renting children’s clothes and the environmental impact of always buying new. Our special guest was Jacey from Qookeee, a local children’s clothes rental service.
None of the parents who attended had ever used a clothes or toy rental company before but when we chatted about the numbers, we all quickly realised that we need give it a go, if we want to move to a circular economy and tackle the causes of climate change in our family homes.
According to Hubbub, 1/3 of parents don’t know what to do with the clothes that their children have outgrown and therefore throw them out. However, with one babygrow needing 260 litres of water and 21kg of carbon to be manufactured this causes a lot of environmental damage. Especially if you consider that it has the potential to be worn by up to four children.
Instead of passing the children’s clothes on to other parents or carers, we often put them in storage. Apparently, 183 million items of outgrown baby clothing are currently being stashed away in UK homes and we all admitted that we’ve got bags full of clothes, toys and books in our homes.
However, buying new and then storing children’s clothes does not only cause environmental damage, there’s also a huge financial burden on families. Apparently, an average household spends about £11,000 on clothing for each child until they’ve grown.
Jacey who is based in Wimbledon has started a company called Quookeee that offers parents an alternative: rent children’s clothes rather than always buying new. Here’s how it works: