Advanced search

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.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »