Babies outgrow their clothes so quickly, and it probably seems like only five minutes ago that you bought the last baby grow that's now too tiny, but what can you do with all those carefully selected, barely worn clothes?
If you'd like to donate any baby items you no longer need, it's worth contacting a baby bank near you to find out which items they're accepting. There are now over 150 baby banks in the UK, and all items are free to families experiencing hardship. Families using baby banks are not just those living in poverty; there are also those escaping domestic violence, refugees, families affected by the switch to Universal Credit and working parents who just aren't earning enough to cover expenses.
Charity shops such as Oxfam, Scope, Cancer Research UK and the Salvation Army welcome donations of baby clothes which are sold in their shops to raise money for their essential programmes of work. Oxfam's Wastesaver recycling plant ensures that no clothing item donated goes to landfill. This is fantastic for the environment and means that clothing sold through the charity's high street shops and online will support great causes. Even damaged clothes can be reused as they are sold to recycling traders to be turned into mattress stuffing and car soundproofing.
Alder Hey Children's Charity has partnered with Collect My Clothes. You can arrange for a clothing collection from your home or place of work, and the charity will receive £250 for every ton of clothes collected. The clothing will then be recycled ethically, with most being sent to provide affordable clothing in Eastern Europe or Africa.
Donating to children's hospices
Children's hospices rely on voluntary donations so that they can continue their vital work. For example, Little Step's children’s shop will use five baby clothing items to provide a day trip for a sibling of a poorly child to have an adventure with other children who are experiencing a similar situation to them.
Nursery and toddler group donations
Get in touch with your local nursery or mum-and-toddler groups as they will often keep baby clothes on standby for any little accidents. Even stained but clean clothes are useful for painting and crafting activities.
Donate to friends or family
Passing clothes on to friends and family is a great way to extend the life of baby clothes. It's a sustainable and economical way to get the most use out of pre-loved items, and there is a wonderful sense of nostalgia when seeing your loved one's children in your baby's hand-me-downs.