We’ve officially entered August in Minnesota and cool weather is on the horizon. I peek in the closets of my two children, Samson (3) and Naomi (1), and see drawers stuffed with shorts, sundresses, and lightweight summer pajamas. Many of them beloved finds I’d packed away to share with them before they were even born.
A teal Polarn O. Pyret dress with tiny ice cream cones I purchased last summer right before I went on bed rest. A Hanna Andersson onesie with lemons we’ve turned to again and again for impromptu family photo shoots. The only t-shirt my son wore all spring — a Crew Cuts find with a dinosaur chewing on an airplane.
All of them well made. Well worn. And with deep sentimental value.
I look back at the closets. So many of those things will need to move on as we make room for fall and the next round of things we … I mean I … just can’t live without. But what are we to do with the rest? Pack them up and stuff them in our tiny basement because I can’t bear to part with them? Force them on friends and family? These are questions that torment me with every season and growth spurt.
CLOTHES WITH A STORY TO TELL
The more I talk to other moms about this predicament, the more I hear echoes of the same concerns. They have clothes and accessories that have been taken care of and have, to use one of my favorite quotes, “a lot of life left in them.” You hate to see that go to waste. And as I’ve gotten to know the Kidizen community better, I’ve wondered, would I feel better knowing something we loved and valued so highly was going to someone who felt the same way? From what I can tell, the answer is yes.
What caught my attention when I began working at Kidizen was their particular phrasing around the type of clothing and accessories you could find in their marketplace. It wasn’t used. Or thrifted. It wasn’t even secondhand. It was pre-loved. Which I interpreted as something that received a lot of love before it was passed on to you. It was cherished. It had a home. Memories were made in it, and it was still raring to make more. And there was a kind of appreciation that passed between moms, from seller to buyer. An understanding, perhaps, of the magnitude of this thing.
MOMS KNOW BEST
My experience is one thing—I wanted to hear from our community. To see if this viewpoint was common and to get feedback on what pre-loved really meant. Did it change their perception of what they were buying? Was shopping more meaningful? Was there a deeper connection between moms for using this particular definition? We captured a few of our favorite quotes to share with you below.
“A favorite, special piece that we’ve sadly outgrown and the we’d like to see equally as loved by a new family.” – Clifton W.
“You often do feel a sense of connection to the previous owner whose child wore said item and has now passed it on to you.” – Rivky B.
One of the reasons I joined Kidizen was because I was emotionally attached to the clothes my children had outgrown. These are the clothes we made memories in and the ones where, if I close my eyes, I can see my children as little again. For some reason, it’s easier to part with these pre-loved items when I envision them being the clothes other children wear while making memories. Kidizen makes that process personal by allowing me to carefully photograph and describe them while assigning an appropriate value to them, then giving me an idea of where they’ll end up. – Melissa G.
I’ve sold and purchased many pre-loved items on Kidizen. You know, the ones that might come with a few tears and some memories? These are items that I and others always say…’tag me if you post a picture on the Kidizen gallery’. I do it every time so that momma knows it is in a new and loving home with more memories on the way. – Kristy L.
“Pre-loved: worn, enjoyed, cared for and ready to be re-loved. Why feed the fast-fashion machine when there is so much beauty out there already?” – Shayna M.
“Pre-loved items are unique and special items that represent a piece of my childhood that I would like to share with my little ones so they, too, can make memories. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.” – Rosa F.
And though I still have tubs of things in a spare room that deserve to be listed, I feel myself getting closer every day.
How do you define pre-loved?