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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.

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.

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