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John Lewis encouraging “hand me down” culture

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

5 Mar 2020

Fashion

Department store John Lewis has introduced new labelling in its childrenswear with a message of “Wear it, love it, hand it down” as it looks to encourage customers to hand down clothing.

The new labels, which are made from FSC paper, will be attached to its own brand of babywear and childrenswear clothing, comprising of around 700 garments, as it looks to encourage a stronger culture of handing down clothing that children have outgrown, and reduce the amount which goes to landfill.

The new initiative coincides with the retailer’s new, permanent organic cotton labelling on the inside of its range of own-brand children’s coats so the new owner can cross out the name of the last owner in pen and write their name.

Coats have been chosen to test this labelling because they have a long life and are often the garment parents spend the most on. The new labels will also mean parents won’t have to stitch in name tags, added John Lewis.

It’s estimated that childrenswear represents a disproportionate amount of the thousands of tonnes of clothing in landfill due to the fact that children need more new clothing than adults because they outgrow them.

Recycling experts Wrap estimate that extending the average life of clothes (2.2 years) by just three months of active use per item would lead to a 5-10 percent reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints, and cut resource costs by 2 billion pounds.

Caroline Bettis, head childrenswear buyer at John Lewis said in a statement: “We’re really proud of the quality of our clothes and want them to have a really long life and be handed down again and again.

“Our in-house design team create timeless designs so they don’t go out of fashion. We make them up in carefully selected good quality fabrics, and put our clothing through rigorous testing to ensure the colours stay bright, and they endure well under wear and tear.

“I hope these new labels will help to grow the culture of handing down clothes which can be worn again by other children.”

Image: courtesy of John Lewis and Partners