What's old is new...buying consignment

Thursday, August 19, 2010
I can remember finally hitting the 3 month mark in my pregnancy with Emma. I waited to buy anything for her until I was almost sure it was "safe". I couldn't wait to hit the mall and boutiques to shop for clothes, bedding, accessories, ANYTHING!

I look back on it now and see how excessive it was. I bought so many outfits, most at clearance prices, but some at full retail. So. Many. Clothes. Most of them became hand-me-downs for Harper, and many of the items still had tags on them. {Gasp!} So, I didn't feel quite so bad for my excess, but I knew it was over the top.

About 3 years ago, I started taking our outgrown clothes and toys to a local consignment shop. At first, I'd strictly drop off my items. No browsing for me, thank you. The thought of wearing someone else's clothes and playing with their toys was somehow revolting. However, my curiosity got the better of me on one of my visits. I was shocked to find such brands as Lilly Pulitzer, Ralph Lauren, Gap, Roxy and even Burberry! And all of it was in excellent condition. Who knew?

I sure changed my tune in a hurry. I quickly found myself spending the money I earned from the consignment shop in the consignment shop! I loved the unique items that were not a dime a dozen in the local big brand store. I loved that the shop owner was very selective and particular, which meant that I didn't have to spend hours inspecting the merchandise.

I realized that I was saving more than just money. Tons of natural resources go into manufacturing and transporting clothes and toys to the United States. By reusing clothes and toys, I was reducing the use of natural resources, and therefore, reducing the amount of pollution in our environment. Not only was this good for my bank account, it was also good for the planet.

I continue to buy consignment as well as pass Emma's clothes down to Harper. Whenever I find something cool or unique, I stock up the girls' closets. When Harper outgrows her clothing, I pass them onto a close friend, and toys are always donated unless they are broken.

To find a children's consignment shop near you, your best bet is to check you local Yellow Pages listings since many are locally owned and operated. There is a national chain called, Once Upon a Child, with locations throughout the US.

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