In my last newsletter I mentioned #EthicalHour; have you ever taken part? It’s on Monday evenings at 8pm (which I often miss because I’m at karate) but it’s a great chat to even just lurk in if you’re interested in ethical businesses. It was through an #EthicalHour chat that I met Alison. I wanted to introduce her to you, as part of this month’s posts on textile waste, because of the fantastic eco-credentials of her business: Baby & Tots Boutique.
Meet Baby & Tots
My name is Alison Harper, mum of two daughters (9 months and 2.5 years) from Buckinghamshire. I recently set up a new ethical business from home, selling high quality pre-loved children’s clothes.
Whilst on maternity leave with my first child, I quickly noticed how much waste is amassed when you have a baby, due to the hundreds of nappies, wipes and ‘necessary stuff’ that is purchased and then thrown away. It is extremely costly to both our pockets and the environment. I had also accumulated several boxes of beautiful clothes that my daughter could never wear again. This seemed like such a great waste to not to see these ‘nearly new’ clothes reused in some way.
My background is in business management and marketing. However over the past few years I have been working alongside my husband in his renewable energy business. I have been assisting with marketing and PR to highlight the importance of wildlife sanctuaries on solar farms in the UK.
With my recent eco-experience and business background, I wanted to work out a way to reuse great quality children’s clothes. My research revealed that although there are several alternative platforms that sell a whole range of second-hand goods. But, from my experience, the quality of goods received was not always consistent. There was not one platform that focused entirely on nearly new children’s clothes only.
A business is born
That’s when I decided to start a business from home using the clothes that I had from my daughter. I also managed to initially gather many more items from friends and family. Clothes that they no longer needed and wanted to give a new home to, diverting them from landfill.
The business initially started very slowly, however it has quickly gained momentum. Recently we’ve won several awards recognising the work we have been doing. We are very happy because every second-hand outfit purchased from us means that one less new item need to be produced, which helps reduce further strains on our planet and its environment.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Following the theme of reduce, reuse, recycle, any items that are not in perfect condition, but still have life left in them are donated to several local charities. Whilst this was not our key objective initially, it has also helped us give back to some of the most in need in our community. In the process this has enabled charity shops to raise hundreds of additional pounds to support their operations.
I must thank Alison for her time writing this post, and also for the discount code she has kindly set up for blog readers. Use THIMBLE20 until 31st August 2017 to get 20% off your purchases at Baby & Tots Boutique.