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How to stop your outgrown baby clothes reaching landfill

Mother and baby

The dilemma of shopping sustainably for baby clothes

It’s a conundrum isn’t it? Your cute little bundle of joy is growing and you need new baby clothes constantly to meet their growth spurts. What could you possibly do with all those baby clothes you’re going to accumulate? The ultimate goal is to not let them end up in landfill and add to the ever growing mountain of clothing waste.

Doing things differently

The solution is not to actually own any of your baby’s clothes, that way you don’t have to worry about how you dispose of them. Could this possibly work for you? Its just like shopping, when you rent your baby clothes from Qookeee. The only difference is that when you add them to your cart, you rent them for the monthly rental price of your cart instead of buying them outright. Do you have any idea how much you can help the planet by shopping to rent your baby clothes, and should you even bother exploring this further?

Well lets start with a few facts…

What we are trying to achieve

The planet is heating up!

We are increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by the way we live, and this is causing an imbalance, negatively impacting the eco systems, climate, oceans and our planet as a whole.

We need to reduce climate change by doing things differently to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate change

You might wonder how clothes in landfill contributes to climate change. When clothes start decomposing in landfill sites, Methane gas is released, which is one of the GHGs that we need to reduce, along with Nitrous oxide and the more prevalent Carbon dioxide, among others. In the UK we send 300,000 tonnes of clothing and textiles to landfill every year. That’s an awful lot of clothes.

Reducing landfill and your environmental footprint

Reducing your environmental footprint is a positive change, that we can do collectively to make a difference. A person’s environmental footprint is made up of all the greenhouse gases (CO2e) that’s released through action they take, in their day to day lives, and their purchasing decisions.

When you rent baby clothes, you reduce your family’s environmental (CO2e) footprint. It’s a bit like shopping local for food. For example if you like wine, instead of buying a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, shipped from the other side of the world to the UK, you buy wine grown in a Kent vineyard in South East England. By doing this you save all the carbon emissions in transporting the wine from New Zealand to the UK. You reduce your family’s carbon footprint by the amount of the carbon emissions saved.

Environmental footprint

It works the same way with renting clothes. Carbon is emitted, water consumed and waste created in the production of clothing. So when you rent clothes, you save all the those emissions created in making the clothing in the first place, and the savings are huge! By renting more you buy less, and this reduces the need for so many clothes to be made.

Try our handy calculator to see how much you can save and reduce your family’s environmental footprint.

Our calculator will show you how much clothing waste you save from going to landfill. It also shows the carbon and water savings. When you tot up how many baby clothes you need over a year, its quite a saving! And when you think of all the parents there are, you’ll realise that these small changes in how you get your baby clothes can have a big impact.

Disposing of your baby clothes waste

If you’ve bought baby clothes, you will end up with a pile of nearly new clothes you no longer need. Selling or donating the clothes you already have is a great way of passing them on. Bear in mind though, that while its good practice, you can’t be sure the person you pass them to will do the same.

Facts and figures

The data on GHG emissions varies a lot depending on the source and what has been included in the data. Some sources state that carbon emissions per person per year in the UK is 5.5 tonnes, other sources state they are around 10 tonnes. The variations can occur when carbon dioxide is used alone for the data, or whether all the GHGs are included and collectively referred to as CO2e. There isn’t a central place that gives a definitive set of data so that everyone can use the same information.

We like the work and detail given to us by carbonindependent.org which cites that the CO2 emissions per person in the UK is 9.84 tonnes a year and that CO2e is 13.4 tonnes.
But whatever the data source, one thing we are certain of, is that we need to reduce our environmental footprint.

Data source

For these calculations we have reviewed many reports and data and have listed them below. We have used available information from carbonindependent.org, greenhouse gas reporting factors 2021 by Gov.uk, and a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment of second hand vs new clothing by Green Story.

The data used relates to savings made when clothing is bought new and made from new material. It does not take into account, how sustainable the fibre is eg organic cotton, shipping or laundering of clothing. We are highlighting the environmental savings made when baby clothing is rented instead of bought brand new.

We calculate the weight of each product type by taking the average weight of the sizes we offer. This gives a good indication of the amount of waste that can be saved from landfill when you rent baby clothes.

By renting you:

  • Reduce your clothing waste and the amount of clothes going to landfill.
  • Reduce the amount of emissions from landfill by not sending clothes there.
  • Save on carbon (CO2e) emissions of the clothes you are renting.
  • Save on water usage of the clothes you are renting.

References:

Basic UK energy and greenhouse gas statistics (carbonindependent.org) 2021

Greenhouse gas reporting: conversion factors 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 2021

Fashion on climate, McKinsey & Company, 2020

Comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of second-hand vs new clothing Green Story 2019

Fixing Fashion – Parliamentary report 2019

Ellen MacArthur – A New Textile Economy – 2017

WRAP – Valuing Our Clothes: the cost of UK fashion 2017

WRAP – World responsible apparel production WRAP-valuing-our-clothes-2012

Streamlined carbon footprint analysis of post-consumer clothing and household textile re-use and recycling. McGill M, Thomas B, Voulvoulis N, Gronow J, 2010.