The rise of the haute hand-me-downs; from rented Ralph Lauren to rare Laura Ashley, second-hand childrenswear has become a first-class market

May 31, 2021 – Financial Times – The appetite for pre-loved clothing has never been greater, with a thredUP report last year predicting that the market could overtake fast fashion by the end of the decade. And now childrenswear is cottoning on to the trend. Passing down clothes from one child to the next isn’t new – even the royal brood are habitually seen in outfits that once belonged to other family members. But the hand-me-down is acquiring a cachet with the rise in sustainable fashion and new childrenswear brands aiming to shift to a circular economy.

Kids O’Clock, a peer-to-peer platform that lets parents buy and sell clothes their children have outgrown, was born out of frustration with the current offering of second-hand childrenswear. When French-born, London-based Laura Roso Vidrequin launched the website last year, she was balancing the business with her day job as a senior buyer at Harvey Nichols and only intended it to be a side project. But the high levels of traffic led her to quit her job to work on the business full-time. “Resale is just a part of our everyday life now,” she says.

Parents can either list pieces themselves or have their items collected by the team, who will also take care of the uploads and sales. Vidrequin’s style nous feeds into the polished look of the site, which stocks high-end pieces such as Fendi and Chloé babygrows (from £35) alongside high-street brands like Zara, and features edits by parents including Leandra Medine Cohen, founder of Man Repeller. Kidswear Collective, which launched in 2018 and now has a concession at Selfridges’ London flagship, similarly partners with stylish parents such as Hannah Strafford-Taylor and Pearl Lowe, whose pre-loved children’s pieces are available to buy via their edits (from £18).

Read more at Financial Times.