We are parents dedicated to getting to net zero. In 2020 during the COVID pandemic we founded this charitable incorporated organisation. We met through NCT when we were pregnant with our first children. Five years on we have become close friends and have supported each other through the rollercoaster of becoming parents, mental health crises and the strange ways in which motherhood changes your career plans. We are doing this for our children because we want them to have a habitable planet. We want to build a nationwide movement, shifting consumer behaviour away from fast fashion.
The fashion industry puts a tremendous strain on natural resources. According to the World Wildlife Fund, it can take 2700 litres of water to produce the cotton for a single t-shirt, and over its lifetime the carbon footprint required for its production, transportation and washing is estimated to be 15kg of CO2. As the climate crisis escalates, it is important that we try to do our part in reducing our consumption of natural resources and the emission of greenhouse gases.
One of the main ways to reduce the environmental impact of clothing is to buy second-hand. This cuts out the need to produce a new garment, which is the most significant process contributing to the environmental impact of clothing. However, buying second-hand is not easy. Finding clothing that is suitable takes a great deal of time and effort – regular charity shops don’t have the range of different clothing styles and sizes. For busy parents, who often need to buy new clothes for growing children multiple times a year, it is often easier to buy brand new.
Also, many parents have stored away in cupboards or attics, bags and boxes full of perfectly good, high quality children’s clothes. They would love to give these clothes a new life, and are happy to donate to a good cause.
Zero Carbon Kids’ purpose is to encourage people to buy second-hand children’s clothes instead of brand new from the high street or internet. We collect high quality clothes directly from local parents in North London, and then make these available for sale either at stalls or online. Our focus is on the quality and choice of styles and sizes, so that it can be seen as a real alternative to buying brand new because it is easy to find something great. Garments are priced just so that our costs are covered, and excess funds go towards tree planting and other environmental projects that absorb carbon from the atmosphere.
We (the founders of ZCK) love shopping and dressing our children in cool clothes. We hope that ZCK can provide convenient second hand shopping for busy parents so that we can all do our bit to accelerate the journey to net zero. We hope to offer you a guilt free, easy shopping and donating experience.
Isabel is a neuroscientist and mum of two. She is a passionate environmentalist and struggles with climate anxiety; this anxiety intensified once she became a mother. Soon after the arrival of her first son she planted a tree and it really helped. While she enjoys working in medical research, her concerns about the climate crisis often overwhelm and overshadow her work as a scientist. Isabel has always enjoyed buying her clothes from charity shops but found it hard to find children’s clothes. She found herself spending valuable time seeking second-hand clothes for her children and realised that some mothers didn’t bother because of the inconvenience, despite no ideological feelings against second-hand. Recent media coverage of the carbon footprint of the fashion industry galvanised her to rethink the importance of this issue.
Bonnie works in theatre as a stage manager and is a mum of one. Bonnie is the organisational dynamo in our machine. She relentlessly seeks packaging free solutions to grocery and household shopping and recently became vegan. Bonnie loves sorting, categorising and labelling – you should see her toy storage solutions! Bonnie has struggled with climate anxiety and feels deeply troubled by the inaction of governments around the world. Working in theatre she was frustrated by the wasteful, throw away culture which is prevalent in the theatre industry.
The journey to net zero requires us all to consume differently. The faster we can get there the better our children’s lives will be. Many of us enjoy shopping for second-hand clothes, but once children arrive it becomes hard to justify the time spent sifting through charity shops because our time is precious. Finding children’s clothes in charity shops is especially hard as there is limited choice in style and sizes. Zero Carbon Kids (ZCK) allows parents to shop locally for high quality second-hand children’s clothes, sorted by size and season. Children frequently outgrow perfectly good clothes and ZCK makes it easy for busy parents to donate and then shop second-hand. ZCK will collect your unwanted children’s clothes from your home by bicycle and sell them back to eco-conscious parents. We are driven to build a sustainable charity that can provide a useful service for our local community and plant as many trees as possible. Ultimately our overriding mission is to accelerate the journey to net zero in order to secure our children’s future on a habitable planet.
- We make it easy for the eco-conscious parents to shop for beautiful second-hand clothes
- We are a not-for-profit organisation, and after covering our costs, use the surplus to support projects that develop natural carbon sinks, such as tree planting, rewilding, and ocean meadows.
Net zero is just around the corner!