078: Pass on your maternity clothes

Cost of taking action: £/$/€ NIL

Reuse: maternity wear is particularly suited to re-use

This is a nice simple action that helps others, helps your environment and reduces our consumption of resources.

Simply make sure that maternity wear is passed on to where it will be reused.

Why maternity wear in particular?

Of course, we agree that any unwanted clothing should be reused if at all possible, and then otherwise recycled properly so that it does not end up in landfill. In particular man-made fibres used in modern clothing is based on plastics, and adds to the massive microplastic pollution problem we are all facing.

But maternity wear is particularly suited to this conscious action. We’d encourage you – if you are pregnant or have old maternity clothes still stashed away – to make sure it is passed on. Maternity wear is particularly suited to re-use because …

  • it is unlikely to have had much wear, sometime only being used for a few weeks depending on how quickly the bump grows
  • maternity dresses can be particularly pretty and it’s a shame that they get stashed away in a drawer
  • other mothers-to-be will really appreciate such a thoughtful gift
  • maternity wear can be expensive, and for some people the expense is difficult for a short-term wear
  • because they get worn so little, items can often be passed on several times
  • sizing is not critical!
  • if passed on within a family, memories and family links are further strengthened and cherished

Why is this important?

We live in a wasteful society – especially in western countries – and we need to find ways to reduce the amount we consume and the amount we discard. We need to stop buying and throwing away clothing (all clothing, not just maternity) unnecessarily so as to reduce the impact on our environment. Clothing impacts on our environment by:

  • carbon emissions in manufacture and transport
  • unethical manufacturing practices exploiting some poorer communities
  • man made fabrics add to plastic pollution and fossil fuel consumption
  • discarded clothing ends up in landfill

How to pass on maternity wear

You can pass on maternity wear in a number of ways:

  • to pregnant family members
  • at a friends baby shower or gender reveal
  • through charity shops
  • on Facebook marketplace and Freecycle
  • at car boot sales
  • to local charities supporting disadvantaged families

Finally, we do know that some maternity wear has a sentimental value and carries lots of memories, so it is quite understandable to want to keep hold of it. But if you have several items in a drawer, choose one special one to keep and pass on the rest, you will be freeing up space too! That one special item will carry all the memories of your pregnancy just as much as a draw full!

Take action, please pass on maternity clothing and help other people and our environment.

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