You might be inclined to send off bags of your outgrown children's clothes to the nearest charity shop, perhaps you like the idea of running a stall at a pre-loved baby and kids market, or would like to sell them on eBay but simply don't have the time.
Secondly, when it comes to buying clothes for your children, do you prefer top quality second-hand over new?
If you say 'yes' to any of the above, then it is time to check out ThreadWise, an Australian website founded by two Mum’s with a desire for great quality, fashionable kids clothes, preferring an economical and more sustainable way of acquiring them.
ThreadWise works by offering individuals a way of selling their outgrown children's clothes for cash, and offers buyers the chance to buy good quality pre-loved kid's clothes at fraction of their retail value.
Here we have an interview with Klaire Johnston, one of the founders of ThreadWise. Klaire shares the philosophy and idea behind the ingenuous website she runs with her business partner Mel.
Can you tell us about Threadwise and how it works?
We buy and sell brand name and designer children's clothes, all in an online marketplace.
You can buy quality-guaranteed items from us in our online store at a fraction of the retail price. You can sell your clothes to us quickly and easily too - requesting a bag, throwing the items in, and popping the bag back in the post. You don't have to do any photographing, listing, or talking to prospective buyers - just sit back and get paid.
We're different from consignment stores and many other retailers, because we are a complete cycle for your kids' clothes. Not only because of our process but because we build ethical, environmental and socially responsible practices into our everyday operations.
Shopping at ThreadWise
What is your working background, prior to starting ThreadWise?
We are both new teachers, both mums, and both great believers in trying to do a bit of good while we move about our everyday lives.
Prior to teaching, Mel worked as an environmental engineer, remediating contaminated sites, but also managing and motivating large teams of people. My background has been in retail, marketing and recruitment. We've each travelled and lived overseas, and this has helped frame up what is most important to us in our working and personal lives.
Can you tell us why you started ThreadWise?
We found ourselves, and many other parents we knew, with a common problem: we had tubs of beautiful clothes our kids had outgrown stored neatly away in the back of our cupboards. We wanted the cupboard space back. We loved the clothes for what they represented (the care we put in to choosing them, the memories of our kids wearing them). We wanted to pass them on to someone else who could enjoy them, but didn't know anyone locally to pass them on to.
Our solution was ThreadWise. We could benefit our sellers by helping them turn kids' clothes into cash (and freeing up that cupboard space - yay!) and we could give others the opportunity to purchase great pieces at very affordable prices.
In ThreadWise, we've combined our desire for great quality, fashionable kids' clothes with an economical and more sustainable way of acquiring them.
Which clothing items so you find sell the best?
We stock boys and girls clothes to size 12. In our short existence, we've found that baby items have sold the best as everyone knows how quickly and sometimes unpredictably little ones can grow! It is also where we currently have a lot of stock for exactly the same reason.
Do you sell clothes Australia-wide?
Absolutely! This is the beauty of our online marketplace. We purchase from and sell to people all over Australia.
Are there any particular children's brands that you find are better quality over others?
We stock designer brands as we find their quality holds up best. We have very strict quality standards, so customers can trust that when we say an item is 'As New', that is what they will receive. We see a lot of different brands, and you can immediately see the quality in beautiful designer brands.
We really appreciate great Australian designer brands that have been built up by mums making clothes at home like Oobi & Oishi-m and other creative Australian brands like Sudo, Sosooki/Sookibaby and Rock Your Baby. But of course we also adore international brands and their unique designs, from names like Catimini, Ikks, and Gap.
Which item/s has been your fastest selling so far?
That is a difficult question to answer as each of our items is unique, though girls' dresses have probably been our fastest selling items. Everyone wants something special for their little girls, whether for a specific occasion or 'just because'. Our stock from sellers represents these sentiments as well. It's the amazing cyclic nature of our business!
Do you think ThreadWise is growing in popularity?
We're striking such a chord with parents out there, and we're getting new buyers and sellers every week.
It is not just parents buying for their own kids - we have grandparents follow up looking for bargains, and a few mums say they jump straight in to get special items each time they require a baby shower gift.
It is also a joy for us also to see some of our first purchasers since our launch in October now coming back to buy more as their kids are growing.
We're working to build a community with ThreadWise, and we can see this happening – people both buying from us and selling to us. It's the ultimate life-cycle of clothing for everyone's kids!
Would you say that there is still a stigma attached to buying pre-loved over new?
This is an interesting question, and we'd say 'yes' there is still a stigma in some circumstance, and we're hoping to help change that.
Most parents are delighted to receive good quality pre-loved clothes from family and friends, and many aren't shy of taking a run at the local op shop to supplement their kids' wardrobes. I think times are changing - 'new' is not so much a pre-requisite as 'good value'.
We look to take the guess work out of purchasing pre-loved clothes by carefully quality checking each piece (many times!) and even offering a Happiness Guarantee to our customers.
Our biggest question when accepting items for our store is "would we be happy to receive this for our own children to wear?". We only accept items where we can confidently say 'yes!'.
Ideally, the biggest change will be when ThreadWise is people's go-to website for clothing for their kids.
What is the future for ThreadWise?
At the heart of our business is the idea that we can positively impact others.
We have a growing following and many repeat buyers. The more of a community we can build, the more good we can do. We have some lofty goals in terms of the regular charitable donations we make ... and we plan on this being an even bigger part of our business.
We are working on some great partnerships with other businesses at the moment, too, so I think you could see us have a physical rather than just an online presence some day.
We have lots of big ideas for ThreadWise and we will be guided by our strong community and what they would like to see in our shop.
Thank you so much for sharing your answers with Parent101, Klaire.
Next time you find yourself wondering what to do with boxes of children's clothes you have stored in your garage or spare room, or need bigger sized clothes for your kids, why not give ThreadWise a try. You can also follow ThreadWise on Facebook.