Posted by: instanthausfrau | April 20, 2006

Celebrate Earth Day: Recycle Your Kids’ Clothing

So, Earth Day is coming up this Saturday, and while lots of activities are focused on the great outdoors, I’d like to take a minute to talk about a topic a bit closer to home: outgrown children’s clothing.

For families with small children, keeping track of what outfits still fit can be something of a challenge. If you’re like me, you go through everything about every six months, culling the outgrown or out-of-season. But what to do with the outgrown clothing?

Many moms find themselves saving outfits for future siblings, or passing things along to other moms they know who may have need. Another popular option is a local consignment shop, where mom’s can earn back a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of clothing they drop off. I keep thinking I need to quilt my own straight jacket, personally, but my sewing skills just aren’t up to snuff. However, here in Seattle, we have another great option for families.

The Baby Boutique is a local social services agency that serves homeless families in the Seattle area. Moms in Domestic Violence shelters, families without homes, and single parents in Transitional Housing programs all benefit from their work. They offer new and used children’s clothing, books, diapers, toys, and equipment to these needy families, and they do so for free. It’s a great organization, and really deserves your help.

So, next time your doing the semi-annual wardrobe cull, keep the Baby Boutique in mind (be it Earth Day or anyday). Share what you have, and take the opportunity to teach your children about helping the less fortunate and the earth by recycling their clothes, toys and books.

The Baby Boutique

1100 Virgina Street, #211

Seattle, WA 98101



Tuesday through Friday – 10:00-3:00

The Fourth (4th) Saturday of each month – 9:30-Noon

Some Tips on Donating Items:

  • Wash clothing items and toys before bringing them in — it’s common courtesy and definitely helps your chances in cosigning items.
  • Check for a wish-list at the organization you’re wanting to donate to — many agencies have limited storage space. Make sure what you bring in is something they need.
  • Recognize when it’s time to recycle, and when it’s time for the trash — if the item your thinking about is something you wouldn’t be willing to have your own kids use at this point, don’t try and pass it off to someone else. Sometimes, it really is time for an item to go, and passing off your problems is not helping anyone.
  • Get your kids involved — let children select old toys they don’t play with, or books that are now too young for their use. Having them choose the items that go gives them a feeling of control, and lets them learn about the importance and joy of helping first hand.


  1. What a great public service you’ve done. Amen.

  2. Only if people have things to share. I just hate to see baby items go to waste when there are plenty of folks in need.


    I am involved in sourcing and distributing baby items in Slough, England, UK to help Mums and Dads in my local community. This is an inspiration and I have found your stories really useful to know what items can be included.

    Kind regards, Donna

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