When I was little my mother and the other parents in my childhood village used a local clothes swap.
Grown out clothes were swapped for perfectly good ones in a size slightly too big for us…for growing room naturally. Those clothes were then passed on to siblings, family friends and cousins before, if they were still in good condition (and I hadn’t climbed any trees recently), being passed back to the swap.
Everyone used it.
Today we use Facebook and Freecycle, buy clothes from charity shops and sell still perfect looking children’s clothes on eBay…but I believe there is still a place in our thrifty, ecologically aware lives for an old fashioned children’s clothes swap.
So I love it when friends with older boys pass on clothes for Small Boy and once he grows out of them, as long as the knees and elbows have survived, I pass them onto the smaller boys in my family.
This morning a lovely friend gave me a bag of her son’s too small clothes. I put aside winter cardigans, knitted jumpers, brightly coloured sweatshirts, stripy pyjamas, checked shorts and coloured jeans for Father Christmas to put in Small Boy’s pillowcase on Christmas Night…and a lovely padded coat for part of Smaller Boy’s birthday present. Other pieces have been passed further on to another friend’s little boy.
Because hand me downs are preloved, and can be carry on being loved by our children too.