3 Reasons that My Baby Won’t Be Wearing babyGap

It’s a difficult balance, receiving the love and kindness friends and family show you through baby showers and gifts, and expressing to them and yourself your values and convictions, and doing your best to keep those values intact.  It’s tough, but we are making an honest effort at it, and as cute as those babyGap outfits might look, here’s three reasons why my child won’t be wearing their clothes.

  1. It’s way too expensive.  Did you know a cute little dress and matching hat cost $50 at babyGap?! First of all, baby’s grow a ton in the first year so the $50 dress is going to last about a month at best. Second, there are a lot better uses for $50 then on one outfit for your child. I’d rather buy 20 outfits at the Goodwill and use the rest of the money to provide another girl in the world the opportunity to get an education.
  2. Gap continues to abuse Human Rights. Yes, they’ve done a great job marketing their benevolence with the (RED) campaign (Instead, Buy Less Crap, pg-13 link), but they continue to be implicated in sweatshop labor and human rights abuse. I will applaud steps Gap takes to clean up their act, but until I’m confident other children aren’t slaving away making my children’s clothes, they won’t be wearing Gap.
  3. Gap does not own me or my children. When I used to be into brand name clothing and I’d wear a shirt with a swoosh or other logo on it my dad would ask, “Are they paying you to wear that around?” I thought it was a stupid question at the time, now I see the light. The level of intense consumerism in this country is disgusting. My kids going to be cute, I guarantee it, and she doesn’t need a name brand outfit to look it. I’m shocked by how many little ones I’ve seen recently waddling around wearing designer clothing and dressed to walk a runway, rather then play in mud and stink up their diapers. I’m scared about what we are doing to the next generation of children. The corporate gods do not own me or my children, and we refuse to lay our credit cards and cash at their alter.

7 thoughts on “3 Reasons that My Baby Won’t Be Wearing babyGap”

  1. good for you! 🙂 our kids don’t wear designer unless it’s second hand… in all honesty, it’s mostly because I can’t justify the cost. However, here’s my dilemma, Old Navy is a great cost effective alternative for kids (and me actually) esp. if you shop clearance (can’t beat .75 t’s) and they are owned by Gap. blah.

  2. Makeesha, definitly understand the feeling of getting good deals. And I know sometimes shopping Goodwill can be frustrating with a limited selection and all.
    However, for me it’s eventually come down to ethics, and I simply don’t frequent stores that don’t align with my ethics.

  3. I think that’s great Ariah. I won’t shop Goodwill because it’s far too time consuming and I have to put a value on my time that I invest into the lives of others as well – – but there are definitely other options around here that I’ve turned to and I think there are always “better” choices even if not ideal. (but i’m not an idealist so i’m ok with that hehe)

  4. As long as we’re on the subject of consumerism and ethics, we might want to broaden the dialogue into some much needed perspective on ‘product hype.’

    Today the Apple iPhone is premiering like the second coming fergoshsakes with people clamoring and media whirlwinds that are modeling ‘gotta have it’ values to kids…

    Even if you believe in the values of the company as the one blogger above said, (I echo same) the whole concept of perspective needs to come into play (e.g. Apple iPhone=$500, UN World Food Programme=$34 to feed a child for a year!!)

    I just blogged about this on Shaping Youth “Apple iPhone Hype Seeds Kids Consumerism.”
    http://www.shapingyouth.org/blog/?p=515 because I feel it’s monkey see-monkey do out there…If we as parents are so gonzo about the latest toy in media-hyped ‘must have mode’ what do we expect from our kids?

  5. Hi – haven’t been back in a while.

    Good for you! I’m sure your child will be every bit as darling and comfortable in Goodwill clothes as Baby Gap togs – maybe even more so, as they’ll have been washed to greater softness 🙂

    My daughter (now 16) was the first grandchild for both sets of grandparents, and they were all primed and waiting to shower her with consumer goods. She didn’t get to wear half the clothes they bought for her, but I was seldom able to return them to stores. I was, however, able to do a brisk business with the kids’ consignment stores that were all over the place at the time. It didn’t help so much with cash, but I didn’t have to buy a thing for her to wear (even after the initial gifts died down) for several years. I had plenty of extras to gift to others, as well.

    My husband’s parents were absolutely incensed when they learned that their precious was wearing used clothes! I grew up wearing perfectly good hand-me-downs, as did the rest of my siblings, courtesy of an incredible network of cousins. I’d never considered that any child would live life without them! What a silly notion! One might as well assume that baby beds, strollers, cloth diapers, and all the rest must also be bought new for every child! (And of course, that’s what they thought and did.)

    My nephew, born 3 years ago, got everything new all over again – much of it from BabyGap or similar sources. My sister and brother-in-law, while BIL has countless nieces and nephews, definitely didn’t go the hand-me-down or Goodwill route. The twins my brother and his wife had earlier this year have the same, but I didn’t really expect anything different there.

    FWIW, my girl is still happiest when I give her money and set her free in thrift stores, rather than shopping for clothing in “normal” stores. She learned very early on that she can get far more clothing for the same amount of money in such stores, and she can get pieces that better suit her very personal sense of style. Anything she outgrows is given to others or (very occasionally) goes back to the thrift store.

    Oh! If you haven’t already done so, join a gifting group in your area. They’re marvelous for exchanging all manner of used but useful things – not just kids’ clothing, but adult clothing, furniture, books, all manner of household goods, tools, CDs/DVDs, computers, bikes, you name it! You should be able to find one listed at Freesharing or Sharing Is Giving. Most people have heard of FreeCycle, and many of the local groups are just fine, but I can’t recommend that organization in good faith right now because of the corruption at its core.

    Namaste,
    Cyn

  6. Cyn,
    Thanks for the encouragement. I bookmarked the sites you mentioned, though I hadn’t heard about the ‘corruption’ you speak of regarding freecycle, I’m a regular user of it.
    I’m hoping my daughter will grow up excited about and understanding of the values we choose. It’s nerve racking though, at this stage to think about how to do it.

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