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 access second-hand children’s clothes instead of buying brand new from the high street or internet. We orgnaise swapping events where parents can swap high quality clothes. There is no limit on how many garments you bring or take home, we want these clothes back in circulation. We charge entry to our clothes swapping events so that we can generate funds for 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 a service to parents for getting rid of old clothes, and getting new ones. We want to raise money for tree planting so that we can all do our bit to accelerate the journey to net zero.
Isabel is a neuroscientist and mum of 3. 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. Children frequently outgrow perfectly good clothes and ZCK makes it easy for busy parents to swap clothes. 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 are a registered charity. So far we have donated £450 to projects that develop natural carbon sinks, such as tree planting, rewilding, and ocean meadows.
Net zero is just around the corner!