Five ethical ways to dress your kids this Christmas

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http://www.charityretail.org.uk/find-a-charity-shop/ house of fraserMy niece is planted firmly with two (high heeled) feet in Princess mode.

And she’s not-too-subtle hints to me about wanting some Princess-y clothes for Christmas.

So cute!

I’ve been thinking about the ‘greenest’ way to attire my favourite princess and have come up with the following:

Charity shops

Little Princesses grow up to be big Princesses and outgrow their gowns, so you can sometimes get lucky in a local Charity shop. This is a great way to get something at a bargain price and the money goes to a good cause. Find your local charity shop here.

Make your own

I’m not in the least bit artistic with a needle and thread, but if people’s blogs are anything to go by there are plenty of people who are. Sites like Etsy and Folksy are a wonderful way to find unique, handmade items by WAHMs (Work at Home Mums) and it feels great to support them; knowing you’re helping them to have a happy Christmas too.

Barter

I might not be any good at sewing, but there are plenty of other things I can do. I’m a mean baker, I can build great websites, and I’m pretty good at giving helpful consultations on mind, body, spirit living. And bartering is something I love to do. Maybe I can swap a fantastic costume for a few cakes and biscuits for people to give in their Christmas hampers!

Buy new

Sometimes it’s easier to buy new and department stores are attractive because they offer convenience. Remember, you’re voting with your money, so look into a company’s ethics before making a purchase. House of Fraser are currently running a promotion called Mummy’s Little Party Rebels and I’ve looked at their social responsibility policies. It includes fair and safe working conditions within their supply chain, they’ve started stocking fairtrade items, have a no-angora rabbit wool policy and source timber from credibly certified legal and well-managed forests.

Freecycle

Your local Freecycle group is a great place to give and get things for free. They keep massive amounts of stuff from landfill and prove that one man’s trash really can be another’s treasure. It’s free to sign up and you’ll get daily emails with the latest items being offered in your area. We’ve had some wonderful things from our local group such as a dining table, climbing frame and wardrobe. We’ve rehomed houseplants that outgrew their space, an old laptop and a sofa!

What about you – where is your ‘go to’ for Christmas items for your children?

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