Conversely, selling your used clothes is a clever way to make your money go further, but using auction sites can be a lot of hassle. However, a new generation of sites and apps promise to make both shopping and selling more stress free, and – dare we say it – fun
Maisie Nicholls set up Swish Little Kids last year, when she was on maternity leave, after feeling guilty that she’d been given so many baby clothes that some of them didn’t even get worn. She says, “I wanted to save the outgrown clothes in case we had more children, but our flat is so small I didn’t have enough room to store them. I spent ages looking for a service where I could swap them for clothes in the next size up but couldn’t find anything, so I decided to set up Swish Little Kids.”
The swapping system works simply: customers request a Swish Little Swap Bag, fill it with good quality clothes that their children have outgrown and send it back to the company. Swish Little Kids pays the customer in credits that they can spend on the website on clothes in the next size up. If you don’t have clothes to swap, you can still shop from the site.
There are some ground-rules: they take anything “stylish, cute and in great condition”, but won’t accept supermarket brands, Primark or any fakes. All of the items are hand checked to make sure they are in excellent, nearly new condition, and you’ll find labels including JoJo Maman Bebe, Boden, The Little White Company and Petit Bateau. Anything that doesn’t meet the site’s quality standards is returned for a small fee or donated to a local charity for families in need. Maisie says, “People don’t always have the time to sell their old children’s clothes using other means such as online marketplaces or second hand sales. Swish Little Kids provides a hassle free way for people to exchange their old kids clothes for clothes in the next size up. This helps to keep clothing out of landfill which is a win or the environment!” swishlittlekids.com
Already a success in Europe, Danish company ReShopper (pictured) launched in the UK this year. It’s an app designed by fathers to buy and sell children’s clothes, books, shoes, bikes, toys and gear that, the company promises; “Makes the process so quick and easy that you can do it with a sleeping baby on your arm!” There is also a rather lovely social aspect to the app. Reshopper encourages you to have a dialogue with the seller – you can use the conversation to check on the item’s condition, but also to establish a deeper connection with the seller, who is likely to be local to you and have children of a similar age. Co-founder and CEO Nicolai Danmark Johannesen says, “we find you often can pick up some advice on sleeping, teething or feeding or a good tip off for a local school or playground, whilst you are collecting an item. We have lots of examples in Denmark of parents becoming friends or children getting new playmates as a result of meeting through Reshopper.” Reselling apps and sites seem to result in a win-win situation for both buyers and sellers. Nicolai continues, “We want parents to feel a sense of relief. Relief that they are saving money, saving the planet, saving space in their home, or saving time - whatever their motivation is. Parents time is so precious. We want to help you use it so you have more time to spend with your children.” reshopper.com