Cheap at what cost

April 19, 2008 at 9:44 am 5 comments


Its so easy to buy toddler clothes these days isn’t it? Just pop down to your local deparment store and you’ll find a ‘childrenswear’ section jammed packed with the latest fashion for tots.

The prices will be extremely reasonable, the colours will be exceptionally bright, and you’ll have the added bonus of a Barbie, Wiggle, or SpongeBob on every second item.

 Yuck yuck yuck.

I found myself wandering through a few large department stores at a mall the other day,  and came out extremely depressed.

To be fair, I’m a difficult customer to please. I have an obsession with natural fibres. I try to avoid anything made in China. I wont buy clothes with ‘logos’ ‘characters’ or ‘slogans’ – as Anthromama says “If I wanted to look at ads, I’d watch TV”.

So, that means that, with few exceptions, I can’t buy anything at the mall. The only thing I found that was made in New Zealand were some socks and tights made by Columbine – hooray for that.

I know I tend to preach, and I am sorry about that, but the abundance of poorly made, cheap as chips clothing breaks my tree-hugging-heart



Producing new clothing is incredibly wasteful of natural resources (do you know that it takes at least 2000 litres of water to produce a single cotton tee-shirt), and the sweatshop conditions in clothes factories are something none of us should be comfortable supporting.

As consumers, the power is in our wallets to create change.












Entry filed under: Domestrivia, eco stuff.

As life changes Slow down … you move too fast

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. henitsirk  |  April 19, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    People forget that so much of their material possessions are artificially inexpensive due to subsidized petroleum costs, wage restrictions, etc. And now we’ve become so accustomed to the “cheaper! cheaper!” mindset, that we no longer know how to truly value things.

    We just bought 4 light sweaters, a cotton knit dress, and an almost-new Lands End jacket for our kids today at a thrift shop. $11 total. And used, of course, so our dollars went to the charity running the shop, not an oil company! So if I can’t or don’t want to spend a lot of money, I buy used stuff–at least then I’m not participating in the WalMart mentality.

  • 2. planningqueen  |  April 20, 2008 at 5:54 am

    It is hard buying clothes for kids. I would love to buy more that isn’t made in China, but sticking to a budget and making purchases without driving to lots of stores hunting for right sizes etc, means that we do have some (non branded) clothes like this. I am getting better though and I wrote about this recently when I wasshopping for kids clothes.

  • 3. goodwitchonline  |  April 20, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Really, it makes matters worse that clothes in this country are priced at a premium, and mostly sourced from China. I am eternally grateful to our parents, who have supplied most of the girls’ clothes.

    Like you, I refuse to buy anything with characters and my trip to the mall today (to buy wool of all things) was enough to make me batty. I had to walk past the Farmer’s toy sale with my girls in order to get to the right store section and DH and I were SHOCKED by the imagery: PINK and PLASTIC.

    BTW, I preach too…don’t we all? Don’t worry about it 🙂

    Oh, I live just up the street from Nature Baby, so if there is something you need, let me know and I will have a look.

  • 4. planningqueen  |  April 20, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Hi Gypsy, I have tagged you for a meme. Feel free to play or ignore – what ever suits. Thanks for the great comments on the blog too!

  • 5. renaissancemama  |  April 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Thrift shops are the best! I appreciate this post because I was just thinking about a way to reward my daughter for something she did and the idea of taking her shopping was rolling around in my head. Shopping as a reward is NOT a habit I want to pass on to my daughter- so thanks for the reminder of the true costs that go into those things we usually find at the mall.


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