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


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#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 Sir Dinosaurus

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:31 AM

Cruel.

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.




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