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John Lewis introduces labelling to encourage "hand me down" culture

Lauretta Roberts
03 March 2020

John Lewis has introduced labelling into its childrenswear to encourage a culture of handing down clothing, which children have outgrown.

The retailer is introducing a new "Wear it, Love it, Hand it down" message on the labels attached to its own brand babywear and childrenswear clothing, which covers around 700 garments.

It is also introducing new, permanent organic cotton labelling on the inside of its range of own brand children’s coats so the new owner can cross out the name of the last owner in pen and write their name. Coats have been chosen to test this labelling because they have a long life and are often the garment parents spend the most on.

It’s estimated that childrenswear represents a disproportionate amount of the thousands of tonnes of clothing in landfill due to the fact that children need more new clothing than adults because they outgrow their clothes.

Recycling experts WRAP estimate that extending the average life of clothes (2.2 years) by just three months of active use per item would lead to a 5-10% reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints, and cut resource costs by £2bn.

Caroline Bettis, Partner and Head Childrenswear Buyer at John Lewis said; “We’re really proud of the quality of our clothes and want them to have a really long life and be handed down again and again.

“Our in-house design team create timeless designs so they don’t go out of fashion. We make them up in carefully selected good quality fabrics, and put our clothing through rigorous testing to ensure the colours stay bright, and they endure well under wear and tear.

“I hope these new labels will help to grow the culture of handing down clothes which can be worn again by other children.”

Over 75% of John Lewis’s own brand babywear and childrenswear is made from sustainable cotton. The new "Wear it, love it, hand it down" message will be printed on labels made from FSC paper while the size labels in the garments are made from organic cotton with product care labels made from 100% recycled polyester.

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