Do you remember back to school shopping as a kid? Wasn’t it seriously the best?!
I loved buying a brand new box of crayons (even though I had a perfectly good box at home), some fresh, crisp notebooks (I was a “college-ruled” girl because I have pretty small handwriting), and maybe even a fancy FiveStar binder if I could convince my mom. How about Lisa Frank?! The selections on that collection were totally overwhelming… and completely amazing. Ah, the early 90’s!
I never got a ton of new clothes (although my mom might beg to differ). In hindsight, my mom was right that I never really needed a lot of them. She always splurged, though, to buy me a few new things. Showing up on the first day of school in a brand new outfit I loved rocked!
Although many of us no longer attend classes nor outgrow our clothes annually, retailers have done a darn good job of brainwashing us to think we still need to refresh our closets and office supplies every September. I don’t always shop for new things during back to school sales, but this year, I caved. Consistent with my socially conscious creed, I chose a few responsible ways to partake in the back to school shopping excitement.
New Secondhand Clothes for T
Little T is a bit of runt, but he’s finally growing out of his 2T clothes and needed some new gear. To no one’s surprise, I turned to my favorite spot, Moxie Jean, and (maybe while sitting at my desk but…maybe not), I ordered him a handful of new shirts and pants including this outfit below.
Update: Moxie Jean has since been sold. My current favorite outlet for kids’ resale is ThredUp!
None of the items are technically new. For those of you who are new around here, Moxie Jean resells like-new clothes for kiddos. But seriously, I promise you can’t tell the difference. Sometimes, in fact, the pieces still have tags on them. Someone else’s little ones outgrew the sizes so fast, they never had a chance to wear everything. Based on my experience, this is particularly true for smaller infant sizes.
School Supplies for Others
Now it was time for some school supplies. Everyone loves a new box of 96 Crayolas, right? That’s just me that gets pumped over some colored wax with funky names???
Dressed to the nines, we headed to Target… because everyone gets dressed up to go to Target?! (I think this is where I’m supposed to admit I wear yoga pants and messy hair to that glorious establishment, but that would be self-implication. I’ll pass and plead the fifth.)
Armed with my Red Card, I brought T with me and we galloped back to the school section. (He’s been really into galloping lately, so I went with the flow.) Although T doesn’t yet need a host of school supplies for preschool, my office building is hosting a school supply drive. I jumped at the chance to shop for new school supplies guilt-free.
Is that weird? What is it that’s so exciting about new pens and notebooks? It’s an odd thing, the giddy feeling so many of us get when shopping for office supplies. Staples and Office Depot should really capitalize on that.
In any case, T and I headed to Target to do a little school supply shopping. Before heading to the back of the store (where we all know we can find Target not-so-slyly displays all their seasonal items), I let T take a gander at the toy section. He’d never really had free reign to wander and didn’t know most of those toys even existed. It was probably better that way. However, I couldn’t help but love watching his eyes light up with each new aisle full of magic. He was (almost) literally a kid in a candy store.
We didn’t buy him any new toys. I suppose some might say I’m a mean mom for letting him browse knowing nothing was coming home with us. But I think there’s strength and discipline to be learned in knowing that he won’t always receive new toys every time he finds something he loves. I digress…
After he wandered the toy aisles for about 15 minutes, T and I pulled out the list of supplies the little boy needed who I selected from the supply drive wish list. As we gathered the requested items, I shared with T why we were buying the supplies. I explained that they were for another little boy like him whose parents couldn’t afford to buy him the things he needed for school. T’s still pretty young, so I’m not sure how much he really understood. But I want to be sure to instill in my boys the importance of generosity and social responsibility. I figured at 3 years old, it’s not too early to start the conversation (and it gave me a chance to frolic in fun school supplies for a good cause).
In addition to the school supplies, these are some of the pants and shirts I bought for T. While the photos might not do them justice, every piece is in great condition. But I’m sounding like a broken record. You get my point…
And Something For Me
With everyone else rocking some new gear, I bought in to the whole back to school bonanza and ordered myself a new bag for the “new school year” from Everlane. While scrolling through my Instagram feed, I noticed an Everlane post about their current Know Your Food campaign to support Edible Schoolyard NYC. I’m definitely a fan of better understanding where our food comes from and promoting healthier school lunches(!!) and I just liked the bag.
The Instagram marketing got the best of me. I purchased the bag (and will feature it on the blog soon) knowing the profits were headed to a good cause. Whoever manages the Instagram account for Everlane does a really great job because they always suck me in!
While I didn’t partake in traditional back to school shopping per se, I did embrace the spirit and stick to the self-imposed rules of my Socially Conscious Style Challenge. Everything I bought came from companies with or was intended to fulfill a socially responsible mission.
If you’ve jumped on the back-to-school bandwagon for your kiddos (or will be soon since it’s still a bit early for some), consider saving yourself a buck or two by stocking up with style from ThredUp. The quality is great and the options are plenty varied for personal tastes. If you check it out, let me know what you think.