Even though the negative impacts of the fashion industry are becoming increasingly well understood, babies, toddlers and children of all ages just won’t budge. They buy new stuff, wear it just a few times and then decide they’ve had enough. A whole new wardrobe is required.
You’ve probably guessed by now that this isn’t really a fair interpretation. But the underlying principle still rings true. As children grow, their needs and sizes change frequently. It’s estimated that the average baby grows eight sizes in the first two years of its life. The result is a continual need for new clothes, at expense and inconvenience to parents, driving a constant demand for resources and energy to make garments, and the inevitable need to dispose of clothes that are no longer worn.
But would you say that the users of those clothes, or even the parents that buy them are themselves inherently wasteful? Of course not. It’s all down to the system that underpins the way that we design, make, buy, use and dispose of clothes. It’s the same linear, take-make-dispose system that most industries work on, from food to phones to homes.