Jump to content

Is it cruel to dress your kids in 2nd hand clothes?

  • Please log in to reply
164 replies to this topic

#1 Montro

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:32 AM

According to my friend, it is, which makes me a cruel mother because my children do wear 2nd hand clothing.  Yes, 'cruel' is the word she used.

It's a rare day that none of my children, or myself, are not wearing something 2nd hand.  I uy brands such as Target, Nike, Country Road, Jag, Pumpkin Patch, Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein, Burberry.  If it's clean, in good condition, fits my children, good quality, I buy it.  My children grow like weeds and I simply can't afford to get them brand new clothes all the time.  They are always well groomed and, as far as I'm concerned, well dressed.

Her comment really bugged me and frankly, upset me.  She *was* being difficult yesterday.

Does anyone share her view?  I ended up with a headache last night thinking (overthinking?) about what she said.

Funny (perhaps not the right word) thing is, I dropped by her house yesterday to give her one of those ab-circle pro machines which I bought 2nd hand at a garage sale, so she got it 3rd hand.  She doesn't know it wasn't new when I got it!

I should add that my children are fine with wearing 2nd hand clothes.  I've asked them!

Edited by Montro, 16 February 2013 - 05:45 AM.

#2 Futureself

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:37 AM

Of course she's not right - 'cruel', honestly how ridiculous.

#3 SummerStar

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:42 AM

No way.
My youngest has more clothes than any of us because of second hand clothes given to us by a friend who bought good quality clothing and everything was as new.
I also bought her some things and most of them were hardly worn and expensive. I'm counting on someone else using them because they're so gorgeous and in such good condition.
I wouldn't use anything with heaps of wear, holes, dirty etc but second hand I have no problem with.
Also no one really asks about it either so no one realises they're second hand anyway.

#4 ~sydblue~

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:42 AM

She is being a nutcase.
Of course you are not cruel.

#5 SplashingRainbows

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:43 AM

No it's definitely not cruel, it's actually kind.

It helps your children learn some very valuable life lessons including:
- money doesn't grow on trees
- in life you need to spend more than you make
- your worth as a person isn't correlated to how much "stuff" you have
- it's good for all of us, and the environment, to re-use and recycle.

I feel sad for your friend that she's trapped by the marketing lies that require have "stuff" - new stuff - to feel good about herself.

#6 somila

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:44 AM

Don't overthink it.  Secondhand clothes are great.  It's poverty (and the stigma, abuse and neglect that are sometimes associated with it) that can be cruel, I think she's confusing the two.

#7 wish*upon*a*star

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:03 AM

Standard practice here (very rare my DD is not wearing at least 1 hand me down item) and I would never consider myself cruel for it. The clothes are gorgeous, in great condition and it would be a crying shame to ditch them simply because they are second hand.

#8 MissingInAction

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:05 AM

It's more cruel to let your kids grow up thinking that money grows on trees and that they can have whatever they want when they want it and then send them into the world only to have them bitterly disappointed.

#9 Juki

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:07 AM

I don't have a problem dressing my son in second hand clothes as long as they are in decent condition and are comfortable.

I would like to say that when I was a kid, we basically lived in hand-me-downs and there were times when I resented it because they weren't in good condition sometimes and I didn't like the other people's style (read this as I felt like a dork). But you know what, I got a job as soon as I could so that I could buy things that I like.

All I can think is maybe your friend had an experience like mine?

#10 mycrazylife

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:11 AM

I must be cruel then, my girls lives in hand me downs.  my boy is the only one who gets clothes bought in the shops and that is because their is no one to get them from.  all his clothes get handed down to other people though.
dd1 loves getting clothes from other people and remembers who gave her what

#11 *~Sam*G~*

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:14 AM

There is nothing wrong with second hand clothes, my dd wears second hand clothes some are clothes my mum had from when i was a baby so there 25 yr old clothes, but there still in good condition and keep her warm .

As long as they keep your kids warm, ignore peoples comments

#12 bluecardigans

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:15 AM

My kids and I are always wearing second hand designer label clothing. It lasts much longer than brand new Kmart clothing. I can't afford new brand name clothing. So no, I don't think it is at all cruel.

#13 embee

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:18 AM

It is also cruel to comment negatively on someone's parenting choices, especially regarding clothing choice.

#14 Madnesscraves

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:20 AM

No way. If the clothes are in good condition I think it's fine. I've still got DDs clothes for the next baby. I can't afford to buy a whole new wardrobe. And if the next baby is a boy... Well, he better like pink.

#15 mumto3princesses

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:20 AM

Nope, no way.

My girls wear 2nd hand clothes or at least my twins do. DD#1 will get new and pass down to her sisters. (One is only slightly smaller than DD#1) So DD#2 will usually end up with things 3rd hand but she gets new things at times too.

No one I know even cares. My girls don't care if they are 2nd hand.  In fact a friend of mine has 3 girls too and has given us tons of clothes when her smallest DD grows out of them. They either go to DD#3 or my teeny DD#2. So by the time DD#2 gets them they are either 4th or even 5th hand. (Only if they still look ok of course)

I really don't think anyone would be able to tell if they were 2nd hand except for the fact that you probably couldn't buy a lot of them in the shops anymore.

#16 ~Supernova~

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:26 AM

Absolutely not cruel. It can be very smart! As with pp, DS and DD have a selection of secondhand designer clothes as  I find the quality is great and they are very long lasting. With DD, some of these clothes started secondhand with her, and have since gone through 2 of my nieces, still in fab condition.

DS has piles and piles of hand me downs from my cousin's son. They certainly come in handy for a little grub who requires 50 million clothing changes a day.

#17 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:31 AM


Is she serious.

Is it because the 2nd hand clothes aren't this season's fashion?

I really can't fathom that comment at all!

#18 LovingTheBeach

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:33 AM

I don't think it's cruel at all, as a PP said it is much kinder on the environment and for older children can teach a really good lesson. I would love it if friends passed on clothing for my son! I've just started looking through Ebay, gumtree and facebook to purchase some second-hand clothes but there doesn't seem to be much in my area.

#19 TheGreenSheep

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:34 AM

No it's not cruel.

Your friend is a snob.

#20 _Alana_

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:38 AM

I didn't like using them for my first ..... Than I had number 2 and second hand are quite common in our house !!

One thing that I think is 'cruel' is at work ( childcare ) a little boy is toilet training and he is in 2nd undies, there is another name on the tag !!! Geez just at least but your kid there own undies , Kmart is cheap enough

#21 Rainbow Brite

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:40 AM

Your friend is being a tool and probably having a particularly bad day!

I scour eBay for great second hand brand names clothes. As a pp said they do need to be in good condition though. I've got some great country road, seed, Fred bare etc etc

#22 roses99

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:45 AM

My daughter is 2 and I would say about 80 per cent of her clothes are hand-me-downs and always have been. I have a friend who has two daughters and a toddler son. All her girls' clothes go I me an all my son's clothes go to her son. I think second hand is great!

My conscience won't allow me to buy $3 kids clothes from K-mart. Second hand quality clothes (that, I hope, have not been made by child slaves, are far preferable.

#23 sāta kōrsa

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:48 AM

Very, very cruel.  Bordering on abusive.  

Bad mummy.

#24 Carmen02

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:57 AM

geee cruel? how strange lol my SIL said i was cruel when DS1 was born because I dressed him in pink jumpsuits when he was a newborn lol He didnt know any different!! All 3 of my children wear 2nd hand clothes where possible.

#25 Diamond~Sky~Lucy

Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:00 AM

Your friend is a pretentious snob, whose values are incredibly skewed.  She is also extremely rude.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


Newborn baby found in a nativity scene

Police are trying to trace a woman who abandoned a baby boy in the manger of a church nativity scene.

Life would be harder without my kids

The Humans of New York Facebook page is well known for sharing touching, real stories from one of the world's biggest cities – and it's just hit the heart of parents everywhere.

Mum dresses as Wonder Woman for last day of chemo

A Brisbane mum dressed up as a superhero to celebrate the end of her chemotherapy and created a moment her family will remember forever.

How a raisin can predict a toddler's IQ

All you need to assess a child's future intelligence is a plastic cup and a raisin, according to new research.

Former Hi-5 member's cannabis hope

Former Hi-5 star Tim Harding hopes a cannabis-derived drug will help control his daughter's epilepsy, which sees the four-year-old suffering between 50 and 100 seizures a day.

The top 5 reasons your toddler throws a tantrum

Whilst to the outside world little people may appear to have it easy, it's actually not always the case – just ask any toddler who's had their toast cut up the wrong way.

Glenn McGrath thought he'd lost his wife and baby

Australian cricket ledged Glen McGrath has spoken about the moment he thought he might lose his wife, Sara and their baby daughter, Madison.


Inside my Centrelink nightmare

Mother Bec Smith has been trying for months to access Centrelink payments. A "serious error" is preventing her.

Warnings over push for hourly childcare billing

Australia's peak childcare body has called for caution around the Turnbull government's push for childcare centres to charge parents by the hour, not by the day.

Cate Blanchett thought about adopting for years

Cate Blanchett says her recent adoption of a baby girl had nothing to do with wanting a daughter after having three sons.

Kate Walsh: 'I can't have kids'

Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh has revealed she is unable to have children because she has experienced early menopause.

The parasite that could boost fertility

The Tsimane women of Bolivia are often revered as among the most fertile in the world - on average having 10 children in their lifetimes -- but some are even more fertile than others.

Family may sue cousin over genetics

A Melbourne couple is suing the Royal Children's Hospital for failing to diagnose a genetic disorder in their first child - an error they allege caused them to have another child with severe disabilities.

Strange things mums have done in labour

While most women in labour focus on the upcoming birth of their baby, some women do more interesting things.

Michael Clarke reveals baby's name

When Michael Clarke said he was wrapped around the finger of his little princess, he wasn't joking.

The logistics of breastfeeding twins

Our life is more or less divided into neat four hour parcels of time and it's hard to get much of anything done in the time between feeds.

How to stop people ruining Christmas

We can make a conscious effort about how we react to those curly Christmas day scenarios that can send us up the wall, or should we say chimney.

Lots of formula offers for desperate mum

The mum who was down to her last three tins of baby formula said she had received hundreds of calls and offers to send her formula.

Surviving breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Cot sheet brands for the nursery

With so many awesome cot sheet options these days, we thought we'd put together a list of go-to brands for you to seek out for your baby's bed.


What's hot on EB

How I survived breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Grieving father's letter to Bataclan terrorists: "...this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free"

A grieving father whose wife was killed in the attacks on the Bataclan Theatre last weekend has written an open letter to her killers.

5 challenges of motherhood - and how to see them differently

Despite the smiles, the sloppy kisses and the pure magic children bring to our lives, it's hard to deny that motherhood can be tough.

4 challenges of being a new dad - and how to face them

Becoming a parent is challenging – and that applies to both mums and dads.

My battle against antenatal and postnatal depression

I was five months pregnant when I realised I needed help.

Children swapped at birth will not be returned to biological parents

A boy and girl accidentally swapped on the day they were born will stay with the families who have raised them, a South African court has ruled.

A quarter of men believe they get 'man periods'

A British study has revealed one in four men believe they have a monthly cycle.

Baby deposit

How much do you need to save for a 'baby deposit'?

It's fairly straightforward to calculate a house deposit, but how much money do you need to save up for a baby?

Dad's beautiful note to his wife, a nurse

To anyone else it might just look like a picture of a mum having a nap with her toddler.

'I was a complete schmuck': Mike Baird opens up about his wife's postnatal depression

When his wife Kerryn was not well following the birth of their daughter, NSW Premier Mike Baird buried himself in his work.

Mum's desperate plea as whooping cough alert issued

A desperate mother has shared a heart-breaking video of her baby struggling to cope with a coughing fit caused by pertussis.

Coffee could help you live longer

New US research found people who report drinking three to five cups of coffee a day are less likely to die prematurely from heart disease, suicide, diabetes or Parkinson's disease.

The joy and dread of playdates

To live vicariously through your child is to rediscover anxieties you thought dead and buried.

Sick baby could die without scarce special formula, mum says

Lizzie Cann is down to her last three tins of a special formula in short supply.

Adorable toddler's strop foiled by squeaky shoes

We're probably all familiar with the pouty bottom lip and tightly crossed arms of a tot mid-strop.

More sex during World Cup created more baby boys

More sex during South Africa's World Cup meant a disproportionately high number of boys were born nine months later, a new study has found.

Win one of two ABC Shop prize packs in time for Christmas

What a boon it would be to have your toddler's Christmas gifts covered this year. We have two awesome ABC Shop prize packs to give away to two lucky winners.

Do fitness challenges really work?

Fitness challenges aren't new. There's Michelle Bridges 12WBT and a bunch of other programs if you really want to lose weight.

What are pregnant women Googling?

Pregnancy is a huge change for any woman, so it's natural we'll have questions - and turn to Google to ask them.



Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.