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John Lewis launches hand-me-down initiative

Caroline Allen
Contributor
John Lewis created the initiative to cut down on fast fashion. (Getty Images)

When it comes to children’s school clothes, it can sometimes be a little tricky to hand down clothing to younger siblings of children of friends.

In a bid to encourage parents not to buy all new clothes, the department store is introducing new organic cotton labelling to its own-brand children’s coats.

This will allow the owner to cross out names and write new ones.

John Lewis wanted to test the initiative with coats because these are usually the longest-wearing and most costly item for a parent to buy.

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The slogan, “wear it, love it, hand it down” has also been added to the labels of all own-brand baby wear and children’s clothing to encourage parents to re-use the clothing.

This move comes after figures show that children’s clothing represents a disproportionate amount of waste that ends up in landfill.

This is owed to the fact that children grow out of their clothing a lot quicker than adults do.

Typically, they will move up seven sizes in their first two years.

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“We’re proud of the quality of our clothes and want them to have a really long life and be handed down again and again.” Caroline Bettis, the head childrenswear buyer at John Lewis said.

“We hope these new labels will help to grow the culture of handing down clothes which can be worn again by other children.”

The high-street retailer will also trial an extension of its “buy-back” scheme at the beginning of March.

The current initiative allows customers to use an app to arrange unwanted John Lewis items to be picked up from your home. John Lewis will then pay you for your items, depending on quality.

The initiative didn’t extend to items like underwear and old socks, but from March it will.

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John Lewis isn’t the only retailer looking at ways to encourage people to make more sustainable choices.

Boots has recently launched a pair of tights made entirely from plastic bottles while supermarkets are bucking the plastic-free trend by continually trying to decrease plastic use.

There has been a rise in families renting or hiring baby clothes bundles as opposed to buying something new.

This initiative saves both time and money as well as the benefit to the environment.

Bundlee and Belles and Babes are popular choices which allow subscribers to pay a monthly fee ethical-branded, age-appropriate clothes to be sent to them each month.

Once the child grows out of them, they are washed, ironed and sent back ready for the next batch.

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