What is Circular Fashion?
The negative impact of the fashion industry – particularly fast fashion – on the environment is well known. With growing children requiring new sets of clothes and shoes at least twice a year, several eco-conscious initiatives are shining a light on a different way to shop – taking pressure off the planet in terms of chemical impact, the strain of unsustainable cotton growing, fabric production and the prevention of huge piles of surplus stock and little-worn clothing ending up in landfill. It is estimated that around 350,000 tonnes of clothing goes into landfill every year in the UK.
Charity shops are seeing a surge in shoppers looking for a more ethical way of dressing their children and dedicated pre-loved and vintage clothing companies are growing in popularity. Clothing rental is another fantastic option that seems to be blossoming, with jaded notions of shared clothing being grubby and dated, fading fast. A growing awareness of the need to change our shopping habits combined with new effective eco-friendly cleaning techniques – not to mention cheaper prices – means that second hand and rented clothing is appealing to a much larger audience and brand new is losing its shine.
Junior’s Favourite Circular Fashion Companies 2021 >>
Kidswear Collective – Pre-Loved Designer Fashion
Established in 2018 by Children’s fashion PR, Shoshana Kazab (above), Kidswear Collective is an online store for pre-loved and past season designer children’s fashion. This is the place to go for high quality pieces from prestigious labels that you may have felt were over your budget when they first hit the shops. Labels such as Stella McCartney Kids Chloe and Gucci as well as smaller up and coming brands are all in abundant supply and not only will you be upping your sustainability credentials you will be supporting the NSPCC with a minimum of 2.5% from each sale going to the charity when you shop here.
Whatever isn’t sold is donated to a family charity called Little Village. If you want to sell your children’s clothes through the site you can earn up to 60% of the selling price – several influencers do just this – and Kids Collective will professionally clean, press and photograph each piece before it goes on sale. You can also visit Kids Collective in Selfridges London where they have a permanent pop-up space full of hand picked designer items.
Find out more at >> Kidswear Collective
Kids O’Clock – Pre-Loved Designer and High Street Fashion
The brainchild of former buyer, Laura Vidrequin, Kids O Clock is an online pre-loved platform selling designer and high end, high street kids clothes as well as toys. With a mix of brands from Caramel to Zara, there are plenty of stylish and practical pieces that have lots of great wear left in them and occasionally surplus stock that has never been worn.
Calculating that a child will wear approximately 10 sizes in their first year alone, Kids O’ Clock was set up to help parents reduce their fashion footprint and give good quality clothing a new lease of life. You can sell through the website by uploading your own images directly or you can use the Golden Membership service where photography and buyer enquiries are dealt with in house – with both selling options Kids O’Clock takes a 30% cut.
Find out more at >> KidsOClock
Bundlee – Baby Clothing Rental Service
Founded by Eve Kekeh, who noticed the absurdly fast turn-around of clothing that her parents had to provide for her younger siblings, baby clothing rental company Bundlee was created as a more sustainable alternative and a way to save money and free up valuable space in the home. We were so impressed with this baby clothing rental service that we gave Bundlee a Junior Design Award in the Best Eco Baby Collection category and our judges were all really impressed with both the concept and the quality and style of the baby clothes on offer.
A selection of well known ethically made brands are on offer, as well as in-house Bundlee designs made from premium Oeko-Tex certified 185gsm interlock cotton from a textile mill that uses over 70% renewable energy and the fabrics are dyed and printed with baby safe water based inks and are produced in a small ethical female-owned factory in the UK. When your baby grows out of their set of clothing you simply send back your bundle of clothes and exchange them for the next age set up. A thorough eco-friendly Ozone sanitisation process makes sure all the clothes are super clean and ready for their next family.
Find out more at >> Bundlee
Dotte – Pre-Loved Designer and High Street Fashion
This very slick looking online marketplace for pre-loved kids’ clothes was set up by co-founders Louise and Sam when they were overwhelmed by the speed at which their own children needed new clothes and disappointed by the lack of secondhand options available. Wanting to create an easily accessible, sustainable way of buying and selling clothes, Dotte was born and now boasts a thriving community of buyers and sellers.
Clothing seems to be skewed towards cool and comfy labels like Bobo Choses and Mini Rodini as well as more mainstream high street labels like Zara and Next. One of the best things about this site is that it also offers its community a way to donate or recycle clothes that aren’t quite up to Dotte market place standards. If you’re finding it hard to locate a textile recycling bin and the charity shop says no, you can order Dotte’s recyclable Donate and Recycle bags and send your clothing odds and ends to Dotte HQ where they will be made good use of.
Find out more at >> Dotte
The Littleloop – Ethically made Children’s Clothing Hire and Subscription service
By using this service parents can help give clothes 5x more life, reducing their eco-footprint by 83% and their cost by 70%! This rental model works on a credits system and clothes can constantly be renewed as soon as they are grown out of. As Littleloop says, “Let them be heroes. Rent their wardrobe!”
Find out more at >>The Littleloop
Hirestreet -Maternity and Nursing Wear Rental
This fashion rental platform provides access to premium high street brands and alongside its regular fashion categories it now offers a specially curated Bump Friendly section, which includes some fabulous dresses that are either specifically designed for pregnancy or just happen to be perfect for dressing a bump.
You will also find Frugi’s fabulous breast feeding friendly outfits within this section too. Investing lots of money in maternity wear can often feel like a waste when you know you really won’t need those items long-term, so rental is a fantastic way of varying your wardrobe without the commitment and taking a more sustainable approach to fashion. Our favourite bump friendly dresses were by Nobody’s Child and Ilk & Ernie – perfect for a special occasion when you want to dress up but don’t want to splash out.
Find our more at >> Hirestreet
Wolf & Mabel – Online Vintage Kids Clothing Store
Wolf & Mabel is a vintage fiend’s dream. This site is brim full of the most stunning selection of one-off vintage pieces spanning the 60’s 70’s and 80’s to fit children from 0 to 12 years, with items for both boys and girls. Founder Anna-Louise has a fabulous eye – and some seriously good vintage hook-ups we might add – often sourcing the most beautiful Laura Ashley dresses, 70’s overstock in pristine condition and gorgeous vintage hand knits.
We love the fact that every item of clothing is beautifully styled and photographed on child models as well as laid out flat, so that not only do you get a really lovely customer experience but a strong visual understanding of what you are buying too. Stock is updated regularly so it’s worth following the Wolf & Mabel Instagram @wolf_and_mabel for news of new items incoming. A great place to buy well made, cool pieces that no one else will have for decent prices and a smaller fashion footprint guaranteed.
Find out more at >> Wolf and Mabel
My Wardrobe HQ Kids – rental platform for luxury childrenswear
This super chic clothing rental service has a dedicated kids department which gives access to some beautiful designer clothes and accessories that you might not consider buying but would love to hire for a special occasion. Brands like Gucci Kids, Stella McCartney Kids, The Middle Daughter and Molo Kids suddenly seem like a fun treat that won’t get grown out of in what feels like weeks when they cost around £6 or £7 per day or up to £18 per day for something really special like a Gucci coat.
Top quality Skiwear is also available to hire on this site, which seems like a no-brainer when you consider how little time is spent on the slopes per year! If you do happen to fall in love with the clothing you’ve rented there is the option of buying it at a much lower price than it would have cost originally.
Find out more at >> mywardrobe