Abbey G (3)
Abbey from Iowa
Raising the new generation in a more sustainable world

Member Stories: Introducing Abbey

Meet Abbey, one of our UpChoose moms from Iowa. She's an artist, illustrator, and the mom of Sawyer, an adorable little boy. She joined UpChoose just before Sawyer was born. You can find her on Instagram @abbeygraffagna

Abbey G (1)

What’s your name? Any nickname?

Abbey Graffagna, does "mom" count as a nickname?

Live in? Grew up in?

Des Moines, Iowa

Illinois, Chicago Suburb.

You’re the mom of...

The cutest boy in the world, Sawyer.

What prompted you to be more mindful and eco-conscious about your purchases for yourself or loved ones? Any specific trigger or realization?

Prior to having Sawyer, we were VERY conscious of our waste, plastic use, water consumption, etc. Babies create a lot of waste but in addition to cloth diapering we wanted to make the most sustainable choices for him, UpChoose was such a gift to discover!

How did you begin making eco-friendly changes? What were your initial steps?

Pre-baby we started shopping bulk and filling mason jars. I have been vegan for years and my husband is vegetarian so our diets weren't the main concern. We also stopped buying as much *stuff*. We mend clothes and buy when we need but now when we buy things we make sure they are sustainably made and of high quality. Post-baby we have cloth diapered from the very beginning and have used UpChoose from when he was first born till now (2T size!).

Abbey G (3)
Sawyer with mom and dad

What are some benefits you have seen over time, are there things that worked well for you?

Cost for sure. The brands we get to use through UpChoose are very expensive and frankly out of budget for us to do his whole wardrobe. Thankfully, with UpChoose, we can give him the best quality. Honestly thinking about the cost behind items, an item is "cheap" because someone other than you is paying the price if that makes sense!

❝ Babies create a lot of waste but in addition to cloth diapering we wanted to make the most sustainable choices for him, UpChoose was such a gift to discover!❞

Any tips you'd like to share with other expecting parents who just heard about these issues and trying to figure out their first steps?

Do what you can, don't do all the things at once. Pick 1-2 things to do really well and when it feels manageable try to make another sustainable swap.

Can you tell us a bit about the set(s) you received from UpChoose? What did you pick and how have you used the platform so far? 

I do a preloved rental set, full wardrobe. UpChoose was nice enough to honor my request for "earth-toned neutrals" and as a result, our family jokes that Sawyer may never learn his colors (ha!). The process is seamless. I have pushed off getting the next size up and have also moved the date up. UpChoose is more than accommodating. The best thing too is that you account for wear and tear. Sawyer is a full-tilt toddler and we have ripped or stained a few items but we were able to send them back at no extra charge. Honestly, it's too good to be true!

Do you already have a favorite outfit or item from your UpChoose set? 

These little jammies were a fave from our last set!


Sawyer in his favorite Burt's Bees jammies from his UpChoose set!

What’s most exciting to you about being part of the UpChoose community and what are the most important things we can help you achieve? 

I think it's the best thing ever! I think all new parents should do UpChoose. Just the fact that I don't have to think about clothes for Sawyer is amazing, the mental space it frees up alone is worth it in my book. I am so so sad we are at the end of the size range!

If you could have any superpower what would it be?

I wish I could speak and understand all languages.

Favorite activities or games you play with the kid(s)?

Loved arts and crafts.

Favorite movie? 

1) The Departed

2) About Time

Dream place for a vacation?

Portland or London

Favorite dish?

Red curry with tofu!

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