Green

Gently used, high quality clothes for children

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hand-me-downs are going hi-tech. A start-up business is looking to broaden the possibilities of where you can give and get second-hand clothing for your little ones.

Save time. Save money. Save the planet. That's the mantra of a local mom and entrepreneur who knows what it's like to burn through cash buying clothes for growing children. Her solution? Trade them in. It's an easy way to live green.

Most parents know that young children often outgrow their clothes before they outwear them. Parents and grandparents can spend a fortune outfitting the little ones through their growth spurts. Sharon Schneider started an online consignment shop called Moxie Jean to help ease some of that financial burden.

"We actually buy clothing back from moms whose kids have outgrown it," Schneider said. "Then we bundle it into sets of two or three outfits and then post those online so mom gets credit for everything that she sent in and can use that credit in turn to buy the next size up."

Schneider says even though buyers are shopping through the web, they need not worry about signs of wear.

"We are inspecting and cleaning and only accept really high quality clothes, so you don't have to sort of sift through and dig and double check for stains because we do all of that for you, so that speeds it up. And then we sort it into different style lines so for girls, for example, we have Little Miss Sunshine, which is sort of bright color and bold prints; we have Tea Time, which is like pastels and traditional and more frills; and then we have Free Spirit, which is sort of boho, more relaxed and easy going," Schneider said.

Moxie Jean carries boys' clothing too -- grouped as The Naturalist, Prep School and Mr. Personality. Schneider stresses that re-using clothing is naturally green.

"So many times we think if we want to have green clothing for our kids we think oh we should buy organic cotton for example. But in reality the greenest products are the ones that are already made. And so reusing things rather than buying new is a great way to conserve our resources and so we are keeping perfectly good clothing out of landfills," Schneider said.

When parents mail in their gently used clothing, instead of using the credit to get clothes in the next size up, they also have the option of donating them to the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital. Social workers there will give them to families in need to shop for clothing for their children. If you'd like to see the specific brands the company accepts, visit http://www.moxiejean.com/

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