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M&S calls on parents to 'shwop' children's baby clothing
31
Oct '12
Marks & Spencer (M&S) is calling on mums and dads to recycle or ‘shwop' more of their children's baby clothing after a survey found that UK babies own more clothes than they can wear.

The average child under one has a bulging wardrobe packed with 56 different outfits – while one in eight now owns more than 100 garments, the study of 1,000 parents, conducted by M&S, found.

A typical tot's wardrobe is now worth an eye-watering £327.

Worryingly, not all items are actually worn. Two thirds (65% of parents) were given items they would ‘never dress their baby in', while almost three in five (56%) admit throwing baby clothes the bin as they didn't like them or they weren't practical.

M&S spokesperson Mark Sumner said: “This survey shows that too many baby clothes are going to waste. We want to give old and unused clothes a future and therefore encourage all parents to shwop unwanted baby clothes rather than thrown them in the bin so they can be reused, recycled or resold via our partners Oxfam.”

Sarah Farquhar, Oxfam spokesperson: "Baby clothes, especially unused baby clothes, retain a high value and therefore can be sold through our stores and find a very grateful owners whilst at the same time raising crucial funds to support some of the world's poorest people."

Mum and fashion styling Anna Foster comments: “Even if you get given something you wouldn't allow your child to wear in public, there's absolutely no excuse to put it in the bin.

Not everyone has the same taste, in fact one woman's rubbish is another woman's gold, so, whilst it may not work its way into your child's wardrobe, there's probably someone out there who would love to dress their little one in it.”

More details on the survey results –

  • Parents blame celebrity yummy mummies and dapper dads for spending splurge;
  • One in 50 families splashed out on single baby items costing £100 or more;
  • A third admitted splashing out over £100 on outfits before their baby was born;
  • On average, babies wear an item just 12 times;
  • Three quarters of a baby's clothes are bought as gifts.

The poll found that parents are blaming celebrity yummy mummies and dapper dads for the surge in spending on children's clothing. Two in five said seeing pictures of well-dressed celebrity tots including Harper Beckham and Suri Cruise piles on the pressure for them to kit out their own kids in designer fashions.

Incredibly, one in 50 families splashed out on single baby items costing £100 or more, including designer coats and cashmere cardigans and, despite the trend for ‘make do and mend', two in five parents refused hand me downs and insisted their little one wore brand new togs.

The trend to dress babies as ‘mini mes' is driving parents to spend more money on clothing youngsters than clothing themselves. Over a third (33.8%) of parents polled admitted splashing out in excess of £100 on outfits for the baby before it was born, compared to just a quarter who spend the same on dressing themselves during the pregnancy.

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