We all need to be more sustainable and think about how our lifestyle affects the planet, but many of us struggle with time when raising a family. Dressing your family in practical, comfy and stylish clothes in a more sustainable way can feel overwhelming on top of so many other responsibilities, but there are actually plenty of simple changes we can make that will pay dividends for future generations. To start you on your journey to a more sustainable family life ­– no matter how busy you are – here are a few simple ways to begin...


1. Reuse, rewear and recycle

Laundry basket

Hand-me downs amongst the family are only the beginning: why not widen your options by holding a clothes-swapping party with friends? If that goes well, you could organise a larger event at your child’s school or nursery or a local community centre. Although some clothes – like kids’ school uniforms – can take a battering, others like formal wear, weekend wear or seasonal items may only be worn a handful of times, and swapping or sharing them is a great way to give them new life. Any clothes that don’t find a new home can be dropped off at your local H&M store to be repurposed, reused or recycled. As a thank you for your donation, you’ll earn Conscious Points which transform into further vouchers, redeemable with your next purchase.

2. Buy right the first time round

A child sitting on a box

Online shopping is convenient, but all those deliveries and returns can really affect the overall carbon footprint of your clothing. Plan your shops carefully and resist the urge to impulse buy. Also, remember that sizing can vary wildly from store to store. You can reduce the possibility of a bad fit by learning to shop by your measurements, not your clothing size. Make a conscious effort to check the online size guide for every item, and you’ll be far less likely to end up having to send it back.

3. Fix it with fun

A child wearing a crown and spotted yellow top

Buttons fall off, clothes get torn and hems hang down but fixing these simple things are handy life skills that children may not learn at school – so why not get them involved? The internet is full of great upcycling tutorials that require minimal skill and effort, some don’t even need a needle and thread. Check out H&M’s tips and hacks as a great way to get started.

4. Try techy fabrics


Sometimes it pays to invest, and when it comes to fabrics, there are some incredible innovations that give clothing more life and longevity. Look for fabrics with stain-repellent coatings or tight weaves that won’t rip easily, and make sure you check the care labels: Fabrics that can be easily washed and dried – without the need for ironing – are your best friend and tend to last longer overall. If you pay that little bit extra for a high-performance product, you’ll be able to use and enjoy it for longer and hand it down for someone else to enjoy afterwards.

5. Savvy sizing

DIY stripe remake jeans denim

There are some great hacks to get clothes to last that little bit longer. Many children’s clothes, including those sold at H&M, come with cuffs or hems that can be rolled up, or waistbands with adjustable elastics, so your child can fit slightly generous sizes, giving you valuable extra time out of them before they’re handed down or recycled. Dresses can start out as maxis and be worn until they’re knee-length if you pick stretchy jersey fabrics, and boys shorts with drawstring waists will easily see you through two summers if you buy a roomier fit to begin with. For adults, look for simple cuts that will accomodate body fluctuations, and invest in belts and accessories to get the most out of them.

Although the pressure to save the planet can feel overwhelming at times, if we all do our bit with small changes, the effects can be huge. Get your children involved and challenge them to find new ways to wear, share and use their old clothes, and it’ll soon become part of their nature, and that of future generations.

More like this

H&M is also trying to do its bit by encouraging people to make more sustainable choices. H&M members can earn Conscious points every time they purchase a Conscious item, and all shoppers are encouraged to bring their own bag or recycle with H&M.


Curious to know more about what H&M is doing to lessen their environmental impact? Read more at H&M.