Plant Life

How to Give a Second Life to you Old or Used Baby Clothes

Babies outgrow their clothes so fast. Here's what you can do to reduce clutter and waste.

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Babies outgrow their clothes so fast. Here's what you can do to reduce clutter and waste.

It's Tuesday night and you just finished giving your baby their bath. You've put them in a fresh diaper, added lotion to their little body, and as you start putting on their favorite pajamas, you notice that their jammies are feeling a little snug. Is it time to add another item to the pile of clothes that no longer fit your baby?

You may be wondering what you can do with your baby's old clothes. We've compiled a list of ideas to help you repurpose old baby clothing items that you no longer need. Our list offers sustainable recommendations that are good for the planet and for your family. After all, while we're happy to see our babies develop into amazing, bigger versions of themselves, we still feel a deep sense of nostalgia knowing that our little one is growing so fast!

💡 What the Data Says:
  • According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually (equal to more than 200 men’s T-shirts).⁠

  • Only 15 percent of used clothing in the US gets recycled or donated. The rest goes into landfills, meaning textiles have one of the poorest recycling rates of any reusable material.

  • The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimates that "extending the life of clothes by just nine extra months of active use would reduce carbon, water, and waste footprints by around 20-30% each".

If you're an UpChoose member, you don't have to worry about what to do with the clothes your little one outgrows. We do all the work for you. Our model is entirely designed around reducing clutter and waste. When you send back your outgrown clothes, we ensure it gets reused and enjoyed by the next family.

🌟 Ready to join our program? Get started by taking the quiz.

"I'm so glad his clothing is being used by others. It's a chance to declutter my home and provide organic clothing for another precious baby."

— Malika L., Mom of two, New York

Check out our list to find ways to let go of the baby clothes you don't need in a way that will help you, your family, and the earth.

1. Donate Outfits To New Parents

We know that the items your child wore brought your family so much happiness. You may look at the exact t-shirt and sweatpants your baby wore when they giggled for the first time and feel wistful of a time when they were smaller. It may also feel just as good to think of the next baby that can wear the same outfit and how much happiness the items can bring to another family. If you notice that your baby's clothes are in good condition, one great option is to donate the old clothes to parents in your community.

If you have baby clothes that you're ready to part with, you can choose to donate those gently used pieces to another family or even an organization, such as a charity shop like Goodwill or Salvation Army, or even a local hospital.

2. Upcycle Old Garments

If you notice that some of the baby items you no longer need are stained or no longer wearable, we recommend upcycling old baby clothes in creative ways instead of throwing the pieces in the trash. For example, with just a pair of scissors, you can cut your baby's old cotton clothing pieces into 3" squares to create your own reusable and washable wipes. If you have access to a sewing machine, sew along the edge to keep the material intact after frequent washings.

If you're feeling creative, and if you have access to a sewing machine, you can gather your baby's unusable clothing and create a memory quilt or blanket. By reading up on the great tutorials found online, you'll notice that all you have to do is simply cut around any stains to create 6" or 8" squares. Arrange those squares in a pattern and sew the squares into rows before sewing them together. In just a short time, you'll have a quilt that your family can use for many years to come without creating additional waste.

Reuse old baby clothes

3. Recycle Baby’s Old Attire

There might be a few pieces that your baby grew out of that you simply can't part with–that's okay. You may decide to add another little one to your family and you can reuse your baby's old clothes as hand-me-downs. Or maybe you have friends or community members who are welcoming a baby into their families. If so, you can decide to give your favorite little outfits away so they can find a new home.

Signing up for parent groups in your community can be a great way to meet other moms and dads and they may be interested in participating in a trade of items. Regardless of how you choose to reuse, recycling old baby clothes is the easiest way to reduce waste by stopping the cycle of constantly purchasing new items.

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4. Sell Outgrown Baby Clothing for Cash

Baby clothes can get expensive fast so if you find that you have baby items that are in good shape, try selling your outgrown baby clothing to make some extra cash. There are many families out there looking to buy gently used items for their new baby and it might be nice to know that the onesies you once loved using for your baby can be used by another family. At UpChoose, we built a simple solution that lets you give a second life to your gently-used organic baby items by selling them back in one go to UpChoose.

🌟 Have gently-used items you want to sell? Try our seller platform here.

You can also try selling your old baby clothes through thrift stores or consignment stores–many places will give you cash as soon as you drop off accepted pieces. If you prefer an online marketplace, you can take a quick photo of the item you wish to sell and post it to find potential buyers in your area. Or if you find you have a variety of items to sell, why not try scheduling a yard sale from your house with your family? From cute little outfits to single one-pieces, it's a good idea to try selling any items that you no longer need.

UpChoose facts

Participate in a New Consumer Model With UpChoose

Finding what to do with your baby clothes shouldn't be difficult. Members of our community already know that when you join UpChoose, you are participating in a new consumer model. By default, the UpChoose model upcycles baby clothes by sending you a bundle of organic cotton baby clothes that you can use until your baby outgrows them. When you're ready to upgrade to your baby's next size, simply exchange it for a new pack. You get fewer shipments, reduce clutter, and decrease waste. You spend less time shopping and more time on what really matters.

If you decide to purchase any of the items we offer, we'll happily take back any baby clothes that you wish to donate or we'll pay you for those items if you decide to sell with us, whether or not you got them on UpChoose. We'll happily provide clothes with a second chance as long as they are in good shape and made with 100% organic cotton fabrics.

🌟 Ready to join the sustainable parenting revolution with UpChoose? Start by taking the quiz >.

“Better for my baby, better for my wallet, better for the planet!”

Corrina V., UpChoose member and mom of two from Pennsylvania