You don’t need to have kids to know that those babies are expensive! Up until the kid moves out (assuming they will, hopefully by the current median age of 20 if not sooner), AMP estimates a kid will cost the typical Aussie family between $400,000 and ONE MILLION DOLLARS. It’s no wonder my dad keeps reminding me I have been a questionable investment to date, yet to yield a positive return. And then I pay for lunch.
What you will spend on clothing a child is the fifth largest chunk of that $1M, which you could have otherwise used to live in a beachside villa in Langkawi for 3 years. At the rate that kids grow, especially in the early years, that’s an awful lot of clothing you’re churning through before they’ve really had the chance to get well-worn.
I recently came across this company Vigga that is tackling this problem from three angles:
- Making it cheaper for parents to clothe their children,
- Providing much higher quality clothing otherwise available at that price, and
- Safeguarding a bright future for your child through environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and keeping tonnes of clothing out of landfill by closing the loop
The idea is, an expectant mother signs up as a member for AUD65 per month and a week before your due date a package arrives with about 20 pieces of newborn size clothing. Each piece is ethically made of organic fabric in neutral/unisex designs. When your child outgrows their clothes, you simply return them in exchange for a package in the next size up. Returned clothes are inspected and washed in an environmentally friendly facility and made ready for another new baby. Clothes that can’t be worn anymore are sent off to a facility that recycles the fabric.
Subscriptions run for a minimum of 3 months and maximum of 27. You can also buy gift cards for 3 months of service.
The potential environmental impact of this business is huge. In the UK, the estimated average lifetime for a garment of clothing is 2.2 years. According to fashionrevolution.org, extending the life of clothing by just a further 9 months would reduce carbon, waste and water footprints by around 20-30% each.
Of the increasing number of subscription models out there, this is the one I’ve come across so far that has made me want to stand up and yell “SIGN ME UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!”. The only thing is they are only in Denmark (boo!). And I don’t have a child (details!). Surely it won’t be long until Vigga get to Australia or we hatch one of our own. Either way, this will be a space to watch in the future of children’s clothing.