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AIBU to think you need money to be an ethical rainbow mum?

(152 Posts)
RhubarbJuice Fri 12-Jul-19 19:15:12

So I go to a baby group, and there's a group of mums there, all very nice, but all quite similar in that they dress their children in organic clothes, the mums themselves often match in the adult versions, they have special reusable lunch boxes and coffee cups and all sorts. They are all very zero waste and anti plastic, which I agree with, we should all do our bit. One of them recommended these hair conditioning cubes which are zero plastic and good for your hair. I went online to look, the guts of £12 they cost! I have very thick hair so lucky to get a few weeks out of them

It's the same with the toys, they're very into their wooden toys, and as the babies were approaching their first birthdays, the conversation came up, and they're all spending hundreds on ethically made blocks and wooden rainbows. They worship this rainbow. One of them brought one to the group, and all the babies did love it.

AIBU to feel it's a shame its so expensive to do this kind of thing? I'd love to be able to afford all this stuff and go organic and plastic free, but it would cost me a fortune. Guess I'll have to stick with tupperware and second hand clothes for my DC!

I do draw the line at some of the clothes though, one mum was in a matching rainbow mushroom dress as her daughter.

StylishDuck Fri 12-Jul-19 19:19:11

Surely using second hand clothes is more ethical than buying new ones, even if they are organic?

TinyMystery Fri 12-Jul-19 19:19:47

YANBU. I’m the discount basement version of the ethical rainbow mum I think 😂 We use cloth nappies and try to do our bit but I can’t afford expensive Scandi clothes or a Grimms rainbow. We do buy secondhand where possible but even a lot of that stuff is insanely priced secondhand!

Shahlalala Fri 12-Jul-19 19:23:11

I know what you mean! Especially regarding clothing, but I use a lot of second hand clothing and then pass it on.

hummusavocado Fri 12-Jul-19 19:24:08


Karigan195 Fri 12-Jul-19 19:25:20

You know you can get this stuff second hand too and find other shampoo alternatives. Check out Facebook sites like the Babi pur second hand site or eBay and you find tons of the stuff on there.

Personally think that the whole dressing the same as your kid thing is wierd and see a ton of posts saying ‘I got the grins rainbow but my son/daughter doesn’t play with it’. We do plastic free but mostly by making things from scratch.

Quaffy Fri 12-Jul-19 19:26:01

Surely using second hand clothes is more ethical than buying new ones, even if they are organic

Exactly. Likewise toys.

Reusable coffee cups and lunchboxes aren’t expensive and are a really good thing to use.

MissMooMoo Fri 12-Jul-19 19:30:36

I don't get the rainbow obsession at all!
I buy clothing from the brands you are thinking of but only because I used cloth nappies.
Never bought anything brand new,all on second hand fb selling sites.
Some of these people spend hundreds on the clothing and get obsessive, its not ethical to own 20 pairs of joggers and 5 coats in size 18-24 months.

IceRebel Fri 12-Jul-19 19:31:20

Guess I'll have to stick with tupperware and second hand clothes for my DC!

But your tupperware is just as reusable as their lunchboxes, and second hand clothes are more environmentally friendly than buying new.

So actually you're doing great, and you're saving money in the process.

itsaseaturtles Fri 12-Jul-19 19:32:05

I agree with pps. Second hand and doing your bit where you can all the way.

I got conned into getting an expensive handmade wooden rainbow and although a beautiful toy, my toddler just uses it as a weapon. I had a black eye for weeks after having it launched at my face.

Definitely no calm instagram worthy playing with it here...

MoodLighting Fri 12-Jul-19 19:34:49

It takes money to buy the nice 'eco' brands, but you don't have to have money to be an 'eco' Mum. Buying secondhand off ebay, swapping on sites like Freecycle all cost much less and are good for the environment. 'Posh' reusable lunchboxes or water bottles will last a really long time, so work out at a low price per use so are worth buying. Sadly, my budget doesn't stretch to Frugi clothes either!!

Celebelly Fri 12-Jul-19 19:35:14

We do what we can: cloth nappies and reusable wipes, as they tend to save money or at least break even in the long-run. But no matching clothes or very expensive outfits that will just get god knows what on! And we have a couple of wooden toys but also things like Lamaze etc, which my DD loves.

Buying some of the bigger pieces of plastic crap second-hand makes me feel better about it.

Jebuschristchocolatebar Fri 12-Jul-19 19:37:11

everyone should be doing their bit to reduce their waste and plastic consumption but it’s not a competition. Do what you can and don’t envy other people.

PatchworkElmer Fri 12-Jul-19 19:40:24

I’m kind of a mix of both really- DS has new Scandi clothes (I do not match!!) but also a lot of second hand stuff from brands like Next. Nearly all of our plastic toys are second hand. I buy wooden where I can- again, usually second hand. We don’t have a Grimms rainbow!

I am trying to buy eco where I can going forwards, but I won’t replace everything I have. I think the best thing to do is use my plastic Tupperware until it’s worn out before replacing. We’re therefore very, very gradually accumulating eco stuff.

I’m aware of what I buy and avoid excessive packaging. We buy what we need, which I think is the most important thing.

BlamesFartsOnTheNeighbour Fri 12-Jul-19 19:40:30

solid shampoo costs more to buy but lasts for months, so it works out cheaper in the long run. Don't know about the conditioner.

HiJuice Fri 12-Jul-19 19:42:14

The best way to be eco friendly is not to have children. Failing that, have fewer children.
Otherwise buy as little as possible, and all second hand. Being eco friendly is the cheapest way to live - saying you can't afford it is nonsensical.

JennyBlueWren Fri 12-Jul-19 19:43:11

You can get some lovely wooden toys from charity shops or "nearly new" sales. I got a noah's ark for £5 which would have been £150 new (not that I'd have paid that).

Buying second hand is far more ethical (even if plastic tat) than buying new wooden toys. You can even give them a clean/lick of paint/sew on new buttons and mention "up-cycling".

If you want to follow their style (and you should feel comfortable doing your own thing) then look on ebay for clothes. Even the fancy brands aren't that expensive second or third hand.

dementedma Fri 12-Jul-19 19:44:15

I buy solid conditioner from a local company called Foam Made. they are on Facebook. A lot less that £12 and lasts for ages

Iamtheworst Fri 12-Jul-19 19:44:56

There are lots of plastic free shampoo and conditioners. None are cheap but lots aren’t expensive. I have very thick hair too and was doubtful of the last but pleasantly surprised.
The clothes thing is weird, cotton is terrible for the environment, as is mindless consumerism. I find in green eco circles a secondhand but adapted piece goes down very well. Ie patching pocket details etc.

drspouse Fri 12-Jul-19 19:45:57

I'm very keen on minimising waste, but we did get a rainbow and it was favourite for quite a while.
We would try and sell it but as my DCs are actual children and chipped it, nobody would buy it. They also seem to put their DVD in Frugi and then keep it pristine and only want to buy as-new used clothes and nappies.
We just reuse everything though. I guess my friend's DD will get all my DCs' clothes instead.

Greyhound22 Fri 12-Jul-19 19:45:56

Comparison is the thief of joy.

I'm not going to apologise because I can afford organic clothes for my son. But I do sell them on - sometimes for half what I paid so as cheap as supermarket brands and they can go on to another child - possibly more. The amount of kids Primark stuff that ends up in landfill after a few wears doesn't bear thinking about. I pass some stuff on to friends and I see their kids wearing it years after my son has outgrown it.

H&M do fairly cheap organic cotton. I don't like matchy matchy but if that's what people want to wear then carry on they're not hurting me.

Recently bought Kleen Kanteens for everyone. Yeah about £15 each but no more buying bottles of water so they will pay for themselves very soon.

I don't go the full hog and some people get a bit martyr-ish to it - I don't really do the toys - my 4 year old wouldn't be interested he's more into action things.

Sandybval Fri 12-Jul-19 19:46:13

I think buying second hand clothes and toys is great for the planet, and also cheaper. The downside I guess is that the more demand for newer sustainable items, the more that will be invested in them going forward. But I do agree, it's expensive!

P1nkHeartLovesCake Fri 12-Jul-19 19:46:15

Everyone should be using a reusable lunchbox & cup ( doesn’t matter if it’s bamboo or Tupperware) as longs as it’s reusable it’s not going to landfill! Not sure a reusable lunchbox makes one a free love waste warrior tbh.

Wooden toys aren’t always expensive and you can buy second hand. Things is plastic toys aren’t always bad as they can be really good for the child when little and learning but they get so little use really before they grow so a lot can be sold on/donated a fair few times. It’s things like £land toys/kinder egg toys that are the pits as they break so quick.

Reusable wipes are also good. Not too expensive and better than the amount of baby wipes some use.

Yes it does cost money but you just do what you can

WaterOffaDucksCrack Fri 12-Jul-19 19:46:53

Hi OP.

I'm assuming the cubes are like shampoo/conditioner/shower gel bars? I have long, thick, curly hair and use the bars. They last even for me and they're loads cheaper than 12 pounds!! And you can get all different types. You can get them from a variety of places now for as little as 2 pounds.

My son has a "reusable lunch box" (I don't know anyone who would use a disposable one?). Tupperware does the job but for him I got one he chose, plenty big enough with a separate compartment. It cost 6 pounds and he's had it 18 months still going strong. I also have many wooden toys for him because they last and he loves them. Many second hand, many cheap ones too.

Clothes I will admit has always been from supermarkets because they're cheap and durable so no advice there other than buying second hand is better than them buying new!

SudowoodoVoodoo Fri 12-Jul-19 19:47:06

Reducing and reusing are the most important features of being environmental.

I've got a group of friends that have had babies in succession so we've passed on baby items and clothes backwards and forwards depending on who needs what when.

Better to get what you need and works for you than an excess of "eco" stuff and still over-consuming.

Some things I do well at. Some things, not so much. I try to look at all my positive choices as being a bonus from the worse default rather than getting too bogged down in it all.

I might not have the most eco car... but I rarely use it for superflous local journeys and tend to walk (or scooter!) a lot which is better than overusing the more eco version.

drspouse Fri 12-Jul-19 19:47:46

Oh and YY to solid shampoo lasting ages.
I buy conditioner flakes as I don't rate the bars.

PulpHorn Fri 12-Jul-19 19:50:20

I'm tempted by the rainbows but apparently very easy to make if you have access to basic woodworking tools

Siameasy Fri 12-Jul-19 20:04:56

I got sucked into the rainbow. DD wasn’t interested. I will have to sell the fucker

Some of it is showing off or competing. There was a time I felt I ought to partake but then I realised DD preferred plastic toys from the charity shop which I think are preferable to new wood (just don’t look as good on Insta) and that I actually still have part of a Tupperware set bought in Woolwich market in the 90s😂so then I felt better even proud after that!

plastic in itself is ok if it already exists; single use plastic is the baddie.

RhubarbJuice Fri 12-Jul-19 20:13:51

I'll have a look at some of these shampoo bar suggestion, thanks! It's just the thought of an initial outlay of £20 or so on a bar of shampoo soap and conditioning cubes, not to mention I'd probably need to buy an actual soap dish as well-when was the last time you saw a bath with those shell shaped built in soap dish type things, haven't seen one of those in years? Anyway it's a lot for me to spend on something that might be shit, but at the same time I am keen to try it, so cheaper /local options might be good.

I did get a reusable coffee mug off Tk maxx once but I don't know if I used it right, I made tea up in it like a flask and it smelled bad forever after

drspouse Fri 12-Jul-19 20:16:15

My DC have two large sea shells my DM got in the charity shop, for their soap. There are often soap dishes too.

Theducksarenotmyfriends Fri 12-Jul-19 20:16:21

I have a grimms rainbow, in amongst all the second hand plastic tat. But that's it because yep, scandi clothes and wooden toys are beautiful but so expensive. I work part time for a charity and dp is a musician so not exactly rolling in it. We buy second hand or make stuff. We're planning to make dd's birthday present together this year, a wooden fairy tree house! - there's no way we could afford to buy something like that but can cobble one together fairly cheap.

It's a definite 'look' all the scandi, eco living type stuff. But it's possible to be an ethical rainbow type mum without all the expensive stuff....I make and recycle stuff (clothes and toys) but then the problem is actually having the time to make stuff (we're sadly both cash poor and time poor!)

NCforthis2019 Fri 12-Jul-19 20:17:20

Grimms? They’re amazing but I agree - insane cost - we have a fair few grimms stuff and they re-sell well. I agree - it costs so much to ethical with toys, reusable nappies, organic this and that.

Theducksarenotmyfriends Fri 12-Jul-19 20:17:50

Also you can get much cheaper solid shampoos! Try local craft fairs/markets. We're lucky that our village shop sells locally made shampoo/conditioner bars that are sls free and only £4! They last ages too.

mimibunz Fri 12-Jul-19 20:18:52

Reverse snobbery is tiresome

cloudyinjune Fri 12-Jul-19 20:24:09

We buy mostly organic cotton here (skin issues and environment focussed) but most our clothes are second hand. We get lots of toys from the library or charity.
I do have a few expensive toys but if I am honest, I shouldn't have bought them. I found other nice stuff in charities and my son just plays with DH's old cars.
I am in some of those groups but I will say the amount of stuff people buy makes me uncomfortable because making an organic cotton shirt still takes a lot of water, land and miles.
A lot of those groups promote spending.
I use reusable lunch boxes and bottles cups and those do save money in the long run for sure, but I made that deal with myself, if you buy them you have to use them!!!!

BarrenFieldofFucks Fri 12-Jul-19 20:25:08

I'm one of those mums I guess. I don't discuss wooden toys per se as, well, dull, but if someone asked what I was buying for a birthday I'd say and it is likely to be something ethical/wooden/yadda when appropriate age wise. We use reusable coffee cups, steel water bottles etc.

Clothes I buy second hand, and if they have to be new I will always try for ethical/organic cotton or whatnot. Tbh most of my friends are the same.

I draw the line at matching though.

cloudyinjune Fri 12-Jul-19 20:25:14

In terms of solid shampoo, which I use, you can get it cheaper and it does last a long time. Lush sells it too and not that expensive for how much it lasts.
And solid soap is cheap

BogglesGoggles Fri 12-Jul-19 20:26:57

Are we talking organic cotton here? Because cotton is very very bad for the environment. It’s pretty much impossible to 100% be ethical unless you live off grid. Looking ethical on the other hand is perfectly achievable at a price.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Fri 12-Jul-19 20:26:58

I'm the hippy kid of a hippy Mum from before it got all expensive and middle class.
There were certainly no Frugi wearing toddlers wandering around the Strawberry Fair back in the day. Naked and wearing a Mohican perhaps.
Nothing about environmental awareness or hippy values should involve expense. The opposite, in fact.

TroubleWithNargles Fri 12-Jul-19 20:28:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mascarponeandwine Fri 12-Jul-19 20:30:02

I get the feeling that someone somewhere is making an awful lot of money out of this middle class pressure to be seen to be “eco”

TroubleWithNargles Fri 12-Jul-19 20:30:25

Hang on - I didn't put that link in my post - MNHQ what's going on?

Reporting own post, I'm not having some computer decide to put links in my posts all on its own.

BarrenFieldofFucks Fri 12-Jul-19 20:31:11

Well yeah, but if you don't have any and you need a lunch box, you buy a lunch box. 🤷 Or when said Tupperware finally dies a death,you replace with something else.

stucknoue Fri 12-Jul-19 20:31:22

Mostly there's low cost low environmental impact options too. I have solid shampoo bars that are comparable in price to pwn brand shampoo (£3 but last 3x as long) taking a long life cup (£4) and Tupperware is cheaper. By second hand, better than new for the planet

BarrenFieldofFucks Fri 12-Jul-19 20:31:41

Mine is putting links in too? Is this new?

BarrenFieldofFucks Fri 12-Jul-19 20:32:21

I can't get on with shampoo bars, I just refill shampoo bottles.

StillIRise87 Fri 12-Jul-19 20:32:23

Just googled that Grimms piece of wood. £67!!!! You can kit out your entire garden in trampolines and bikes from Shpock for that. Hilarious!

BarrenFieldofFucks Fri 12-Jul-19 20:33:31

You can get cheaper versions, like anything else. That said, we bought one about 10 years ago, it was about £40 then.

Juancornetto Fri 12-Jul-19 20:37:02

I try and tread lightly and focus on refuse and reuse before buying anything "eco" There's so much green washing that goes on, I'm always a bit cynical about supposedly green alternatives. So toys and clothes as much as possible are second hand,

I buy shampoo bars but I jam a couple of (second hand) bits of Lego into the bottom of them to stand them off the bath in place of new soap dishes. Or you could use an old saucer from a charity shop - that's what some of the people in the zero waste Facebook group that I'm on do.

restingpigeon Fri 12-Jul-19 20:38:15

my DD1 ignored the wooden toys I bought her - they were in good condition when they went to the charity shop! I couldn't give away the reusable nappies - I contacted a centre for single parents that took a lot of other stuff and they said nobody would use them. This was 6 or so years ago so hopefully things have changed.

The stigma on second hand things is changing, it's no longer a case of my baby will be judged if things aren't new. There is more publicity around cheap textiles and environmental damage.

I can't get on with shampoo bars, they dry my hair out - I'm looking for a refinery to start doing a shampoo I like.

restingpigeon Fri 12-Jul-19 20:40:01

I agree on the greenwashing - I get eco bin bags and recycled toilet & kitchen paper but it IS more expensive stuff. Eating less meat does save you money though as long as you don't chomp through too many nuts.

DinoEggz Fri 12-Jul-19 20:41:09

Wooden toys seem expensive but retain their value. You can resell them for up to 90% of their original price. The same goes for the Scandi clothes, the resale value will be higher. TK Maxx sometimes has some of the ethical clothes and wooden or recycled plastic toys for reasonable prices. And reusable bottles etc are cheaper in the long run because you’re not buying drinks!

gotmychocolateimgood Fri 12-Jul-19 20:45:31

Sounds like this little group are buying into eco friendly stuff and bonding over it. No harm in that per se. I never bought a Grimms rainbow for my kids but I bought one for myself 🌈blush

BarbariansMum Fri 12-Jul-19 20:45:58

I know lots of eco mums (dont know about the rainbow bit). Most of them come from fairly poor to average national wage households. You dont need money to act conscientiously.

gotmychocolateimgood Fri 12-Jul-19 20:46:50

I started a thread yesterday about eco products costing more. I think they should be subsidised. A lot of people will keep buying plastic because it's much cheaper and does the job.

Skysky1 Fri 12-Jul-19 20:46:50

I guess I'm one of those wooden block, rainbow obsessing mums lol , it stops at the organic clothing though, I do search for the scandi wooden toys second hand first before purchasing (I search for most things second hand tbh) but they aren't any cheaper, and luckily we get a discount at a shop that makes handmade wooden toys as my son is a brand rep

PickAChew Fri 12-Jul-19 20:47:58

DS1, back in the day, discovered that wooden toys make great crayons for drawing on walls with.

WarmthAndDepth Fri 12-Jul-19 20:49:26

Hey, OP, are we talking first babies here, as in these are first time mothers? I think this kind of unintentional posturing is endemic in the groups frequented by the mums of baby #1. Once #2 comes along (very un-eco...) nobody gives a shit about virtue signalling in this way, and you either just are / embody 'eco-mum' in the truest sense or the false pretences fall by the way side.
Eco parenting is cheap as chips as you are essentially aiming to consume less, not gather and parade paraphernalia.

BarrenFieldofFucks Fri 12-Jul-19 20:51:18

I don't know, we're on #3 here 😂🙈

MulberryPeony Fri 12-Jul-19 20:51:22

You already have a reusable lunch box with your Tupperware so YABU. It does cost more to have the ‘fashion item’ with green credentials but you don’t have to keep up with the Jones.

Toddlerteaplease Fri 12-Jul-19 20:52:22

How much for a rainbow toy?!!!! shock

LunaTheCat Fri 12-Jul-19 20:53:19

Completely childless but fascinating! Just googled Grimms - some of the natural wooden things would make lovely ornaments.

gotmychocolateimgood Fri 12-Jul-19 20:54:14

Someone pointed out on another thread that you don't have to buy the pricey eco stuff. Eg instead of a set of cheeky wipes for £40, cut up some old t shirts, soak them in a margarine tub when used, stick on a hot wash, voila. Good point.

LadyRannaldini Fri 12-Jul-19 20:54:39

Isn't a lot of this just a money making bandwagon? Plastic lunch boxes have always been reusable, travel cups for coffee are as old as the hills, I must have been so far ahead of the game as I only ever used disposable nappies quite late and then for travelling or when she had a nappy rash.
At the end of the day we all do the best we can with what we have, there will always be those who like to try and belittle others with their current fad credentials.

gotmychocolateimgood Fri 12-Jul-19 20:54:52

I bought my Grimms rainbow second hand on ebay for £15.

Siameasy Fri 12-Jul-19 20:56:04

So glad charity shops are de rigeur now
Having a rummage in the charity shop is one of the most thrilling pastimes ever! I always come back with something for DD and she loves a charity shop too

Catnut Fri 12-Jul-19 20:58:17

I've just spent the best part of an hour looking at Grimms rainbows, I'd never heard of them before I read this post. I'm now practicing my pitch to convince my OH they're worth the money!

Mummy0ftwo12 Fri 12-Jul-19 21:03:46

I had never heard of Grimms rainbows either - wtf

Bluthbanana Fri 12-Jul-19 21:03:53

There's making adjustments to your lifestyle to be more environmentally friendly and ethical, and then there's the Insta-Eco style - which you've identified. It can't be a reusable coffee cup you picked up in Asda, or a £2 steel water bottle from Mountain Warehouse - it has to be a Kleen Kanteen. It's great that companies are encouraging people to make more conscious decisions.... But... There is still a lot of mindless consumption involved with people being encouraged to go after the latest colour of Kleen Kanteen, the latests variation on the fucking rainbow ornament. Buying more reusable nappies than any baby could use a reasonable number of times for it to make the materials used in production environmentally worthwhile.

I used to be in that scene, but there was only so many times I could read posts about someone hiding the credit card bill from their husband because of all their Frugi/Babipur splurges and "oh I'll just spend an extra £20 for the free delivery". People posting photos of their latest massive order, and unintentionally putting pressure on other members to have the same things if they happened to be a well-regarded member of the community. Now, I try to make ethical and environmentally conscious decisions for me and the DC, but away from that bubble of must-haves.

There will be some people getting very rich in Wales and Cornwall but, hey, they're ethical.

SadOtter Fri 12-Jul-19 21:04:07

I use the shampoo bars, they last ages, even on my knee length thick hair. (They also mean my DD will actually wash her hair without a fuss, she has sensory issues and liquid shampoo was a real battle)

I also use reusable cups, lunch boxes etc, they weren't particularly expensive. Or at least no more so than decent tupperwear, but then I didn't already have tupperwear when I bought them so it was money I would have needed to spend either way. I'm not sure there is anything to be gained eco wise by replacing usable plastic stuff you already own, after all that would just be creating more waste.

Clothes are often second hand, but some of it comes from primark and the like because kids grow so quick and ethical clothes are expensive.

Toys were wooden when DD was small but as she got bigger she was so desperate for plastic tat and I gave in.

Littletabbyocelot Fri 12-Jul-19 21:05:01

I think purchasing extra clothes to match with your kids for the 3 months max they are in that size seems like exactly the conspicuous consumption eco friendly people would want to avoid. Agree with pp, reducing and reusing is the way to go and charity shops are awesome.

I didn't do wooden toys after an early experiment. I had twins, they liked to wave toys about. Fortunately, I was the one who got concussion but 2nd hand plastic all the way now.

ReanimatedSGB Fri 12-Jul-19 21:05:33

Oh, there have always been wankers have to have the most expensive and fashionable 'eco' stuff - look at the bullshit Gwyneth Paltrow peddles. As PP have said: buying second-hand is more environmentally friendly than buying anything new. (And why does so much eco-hippy stuff look so shit?)

CherryPavlova Fri 12-Jul-19 21:05:55

They might be fashionable but doesn’t sound as if they are either tasteful or environmentally sound. Matching o clothes indeed. Did they not have clothes before they had babies?
How many air miles and how much fuel to deliver trendy cube conditioner? I was shocked to be charged £33 for a bottle of conditioner in Lush at Victoria station. The staff tried to persuade me to complete the purchase because the bottle could be recycled. So much is jus marketing ploys.
If you want environmentally sound lunches and snacks grow carrots and pick an apple of the tree. Then swop fruit and veg with neighbours and make your own yoghurt and ricotta from milk you collect from up the road. Other than that it’s tosh. Absolutely hypocritical tosh.
We do need to reduce plastic but buying a new lunchbox covered in leaves and with a wooden zip tag is no more environmentally sound than a Tupperware you’ve had for years. Worse in fact.
Wooden blocks are good but you can get them very cheaply from a school supplier. Ours had a wooden trolley full of bricks they used as a prom and shopping trolley as well as a sit on ride. That was years ago before environmental stuff added to the price.
Most babies are very happy with a couple of saucepans, a wooden spoon and a few wooden offcuts their grandfather has smoothed into homemade bricks.

EssentialHummus Fri 12-Jul-19 21:07:23

Buying second hand is far more ethical (even if plastic tat) than buying new wooden toys.

This. I’m far from hippy dippy but DD has a raft of second hand stuff from friends, we use Tupper ware (mainly in the form of repurposed Chinese food containers!) and plenty of her toys and books are used/toy library specials or even found on the street - we picked up a lovely little cash register complete with beeping calculator and toy money yesterday. For ages her favourite toy was a 2l bottle with dry pasta inside.

ReanimatedSGB Fri 12-Jul-19 21:08:43

I've shopped in charity shops for nearly 40 years. It's always been the best way to get clothes that don't look just like what every other muppet is wearing, for starters. Is it a new thing? Nearly all my friends are also longterm charity shop hounds.

maddiemookins16mum Fri 12-Jul-19 21:09:51

My lunch box is 12 years old!!

OhYouBadBadKitten Fri 12-Jul-19 21:27:26

A quick aside question: why are there links to 'lunchboxes' and 'tupperware' appearing in posts on this thread?

EssentialHummus Fri 12-Jul-19 21:30:29

MN introduced it a while ago oybbk, for certain words/phrases. There are just a lot of popular ones on this thread!

MsTSwift Fri 12-Jul-19 21:32:35

Good for them impressed

IceRebel Fri 12-Jul-19 21:38:09

There are just a lot of popular ones on this thread!

Who knew lunch boxes, tupperware, trampolines and water bottles were popular enough to have their own pages. confused

MumofTinies Fri 12-Jul-19 21:50:27

I agree OP. I love grimms toys and scandi clothes so I am on a few related groups. Some of the 'stashes' people have are a bit much tbh, especially with the clothes and cloth nappies. It really is just the same old consumerism. I only buy what I can afford and what my children like but I can see how people get caught up in the hype and I wonder how they can afford it.

It's quite rare to pick up these bits and pieces for a reasonable cost second hand, as all in they usually sell for 10-15% less then the RRP and sell very quickly.

MumofTinies Fri 12-Jul-19 21:53:20

Should add you can buy entire outfits from sainsburys for the cost of one Duns t-shirt (or similar). I know why they are cheaper but if your skint it's a no brainer, it's rare to find decent kids clothes in charity shops around here.

Gwenhwyfar Fri 12-Jul-19 21:55:02

Some green stuff is expensive and some is cheap.
I wouldn't know what organic clothes were if they fell on my head, but I think that low income people are generally greener: less likely to fly often, less likely to drive much and if they do in smaller cars, less likely to overwash themselves or their clothes or to waste gas and lectric, live in smaller houses, etc.

gotmychocolateimgood Fri 12-Jul-19 21:55:50

I buy nearly all my clothes and my DCs' on local FB sites. Trainers, coats, uniform, all barely worn. Saves a fortune. Ebay is good too.

Firstimpressionsofearth Fri 12-Jul-19 21:56:53

I had no idea what a grins rainbow was. Quick Google it's a £60 toy. Quick eBay search you can buy the same thing for £15

Not sure what the issue is here. You sound the same as people annoyed that their baby is in tesco grows not ted baker.

Gwenhwyfar Fri 12-Jul-19 21:59:23

"Not sure what the issue is here."

I'm sure the issue is quite clear. OP is being pressurised into doing these 'green' things that she can't afford.

mumwon Fri 12-Jul-19 22:00:59

(have an old Tupperware box in my cupboard which is over 50 years old & is still going strong - nice to know reusing old things comes under being environmentally friendly smile )

mumwon Fri 12-Jul-19 22:03:34

& some of this so called organic clothes & fancy toys aren't as environmentally friendly as reusing the plastic version which don't have airmiles

LadyTiredWinterBottom2 Fri 12-Jul-19 22:04:42

They have the trappings of what they believe to be an environmentally friendly lifestyle, imho. Just a different type of consumerism.

MumofTinies Fri 12-Jul-19 22:05:49


The Ebay version won't be the same, probably won't even be CE tested.

BarrenFieldofFucks Fri 12-Jul-19 22:06:49

I'm not sure how the OP is being pressurised into doing anything?

Rainbowsintherain Fri 12-Jul-19 22:09:38

You need time. It’s all very well to get all your stuff ‘preloved’ but it takes much longer than 3 clicks on amazon or any other online outlet. Having said that People without money are often forced to be more ethical because they have no financial choice but to shop in charity shops or car boot sales; and they manage to squeeze it in between 3 jobs. And they buy less. You don’t need to be wealthy to be an ethical rainbow mum, but if you want everything organic rather than preloved it helps.

MitziK Fri 12-Jul-19 22:15:00

Me and DD1 probably counted as that 'type' when she was little back in the Dark Ages early 1990s.

It didn't cost me much, as I was too skint to do that - DD's clothes and toys came from NCT nearly new sales and hand me downs from other mums, my clothes came from the Buddhist Centre's charity shop (so were very rainbow-y), I used eco friendly cleaning products, stuff not tested on animals/vegetarian certified and I bought a lot of food from the health food shop they had a share in next door.

Even now, I still use eco products, detest pointless plastic and all our soft fruit is organically grown. The latter is because I shoved plants out in the garden when I moved in and they provide a year's worth with freezing and jamming, despite absolutely zero effort from me the rest of the year. And I still think the best reusable wipe was invented many years ago - it's called a flannel.

It's nice to know that the things I had the piss ripped out of me for all those years ago isn't such a bad thing now.

Bluthbanana Fri 12-Jul-19 22:22:17

I'm not sure how the OP is being pressurised into doing anything?

Because grown ups, and particularly those who may be vulnerable in new motherhood, or trying to find their people as there is less real life community cohesion leading people to look for it online instead, are not immune to marketing and peer pressure.

Lots of the brands involved have companion groups on social media that sell this idea of a community and likemindedness. I know people in real life who have spoken to people they may not have otherwise spoken to because they've noticed the particular kind of sling they're carrying their baby in. Or that they're using cloth nappies. Or they've spotted "Frugi in the wild" in areas where you don't see a lot of children wearing it. People want to fit in with those they see as being similar to themselves. Hence, pressure.

CuteOrangeElephant Fri 12-Jul-19 22:22:56

I am a totally accidental Rainbow mum grin

My darling had upwards of 3 poonamis a day, so using reusable nappies was a no brainer.

From there I got onto Frugi, which is pretty much all she wears right now because I like the designs, it fits her nappy bum and I like the quality. It also sells on well so not that much more expensive than supermarket clothes. I also only buy it secondhand or in the sale.

DD has a lovely cache of wooden toys, but they are all gifts, secondhand or really good bargains. I bought a lovely wooden kitchen for 40, should have been 75, a wooden dolls pram for 25, should have been over 50 and my best bargain yet is a wooden castle down to 20 from 70. I also have a bargain train set stashed. The castle and the train set are for this years and next Christmas...

She only has two toys I splurged on, a Grimm's rainbow for her first Christmas (her only present) that my husband calls mummy's rainbow because she's not been allowed to play with it yet. My defense is that it has brought a lot of joy as an ornament so far and it's worth more than I have paid for it because it's in pristine condition grin. Also hormones...

The other one is her only doll, but it was a handmade Waldorf doll and only bought because my husband said he thought it was stupid wink. I am so happy that it's by far her favourite toy.

I use a baby carrier, primarily because I live in a flat without a lift and can't be arsed lugging the pram up and down.

My DD has a lovely steel Klean Kanteen bottle, but only because she has managed to ruin two previous ones and I wanted something a bit longer lasting.

Other eco habits that I have got include using bar soap (because I'm allergic to liquid soap), breastfeeding my toddler (because I can't be arsed to stop), using reusable sanpro and breast pads (because I am allergic to common brands and too cheap to splurge on eco stuff), using reusable make up wipes (because I am allergic). The list goes on.

I do draw the line on wearing Scandi stuff myself. It really is not my thing. I do have a lovely keepcup though, but that was a Christmas present.

BoomBoomsCousin Fri 12-Jul-19 22:29:30

I know all these "ethical" products look lovely, but you have to break the programming - you can't consume your way out of overconsumption (which is what most of our environmental crisis is). Don't buy into the greenwashing.

The most environmentally sound actions are to not buy new and not to buy much. So to be ethical you don't actually need much money.

A lot of less well off parents using primark clothes and disposable nappies will, overall, be using far fewer resources than a lot of well off mums who keep buying lots of new "green" branded products and experiences. (Though it would be better to buy secondhand cotton clothes and reuseable nappies if they're practical for your living situation).

Linguaphile Fri 12-Jul-19 22:29:43

I agree with all the posters saying buying secondhand is definitely the greenest of all the options! Charity shops can’t cope with all the clothes they get anyway, which means lots of it eventually ends up in landfills, so buying secondhand not only reduces waste but also saves you blindly fueling the organic cotton bandwagon, which is no picnic for the environment either from a water consumption perspective. It takes about 290 gallons of water to grow enough regular cotton to make a t-shirt, but something like 660 gallons to make the same out of organic cotton. ( Food for thought.

MummBraTheEverLeaking Fri 12-Jul-19 22:33:25

A lot of what DC have is second hand. Got a massive second hand toot toot set on Facebook for £20. Also recently bought a secondhand wooden kitchen, again £20. I loved that rainbow but brand new cost no bloody way. In fact no bloody way to second hand prices either, still soooo expensive but so pretty I also get a lot of clothes from the local kids clothes exchange. If you've got a young baby it's excellent as most people will start by bringing in baby stuff first so there's loads.

elliejjtiny Fri 12-Jul-19 22:34:18

It can get very expensive if you buy new organic clothes and expensive wooden toys. You can still be eco on the cheap though.

brimfullofasha Fri 12-Jul-19 22:35:15

I'm torn about this stuff. I think the wooden toys are beautiful and I love brightly coloured children's clothes. I also 'do my bit' by reducing plastic etc. However, sometimes the eco-branding stuff just feels like another way of persuading people to consume more which seems to miss the eco point really. I see people on FB boasting they have 3 expensive flasks and new matching organic clothes for the whole family and it doesn't seem like a different mentality from people who have the latest designer labels. And of course it's much better to own less stuff in general and buy second hand.

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