Secondhand September (for KIDS!)
Buying something pre-loved rather than new is wonderful for our planet because:
- It avoids the carbon emissions and the materials extraction (mining, drilling, chopping-down trees, etc) of making the item new; and
- It keeps the existing item out of waste.
So here are our practical tips for buying pre-loved for kids in Ireland (and for re-homing the things they're no longer using!)
Get pre-loved toys:
- Encourage friends and family to gift toys they have at home. Check older relatives' attics - but avoid pre-1990 toys which often don't meet today's safety standards;
- Buy on Adverts.ie
- Buy on Facebook preloved toys groups like:
- Preloved Toys Ireland - Imagine, Create, Build Facebook group (message us to be invited);
- Preloved Plastic Toys Ireland (buy/sell/trade) ;
- Preloved Wooden, Vintage & Educational Toys (Ireland) No batteries needed!!
- Keep an eye on your local Facebook freecycle group / Olio app / Freecycle.org;
- Some retailers have pre-loved lines, like Halfords or maybe your local bike shop for refurbished pre-loved bikes, and we are about to launch a range of refurbished pre-loved toys - watch this space!;
- Your local charity shop.
Get (and use) pre-loved LEGO:
This cult toy has special ways to get it pre-loved:
- BrickLink - we've ordered from there and had a great experience. The set arrived with instructions and all parts - just in a regular brown box instead of the original LEGO box. They mostly come from around Europe but if the child has requested a specific set for a special day and you can't find it in Ireland, this is still much better than buying it new.
- LEGO-specific Facebook groups like:
- Adverts.ie / Facebook freecycle groups / Olio app / Freecycle.org
- The Brickx Club Ireland at St Anne's Park and Herbert Park markets in Dublin
If you got a jumbled mixed bag of LEGO, we recommend BrickIt app which scans your pile of pieces and gives you step-by-step instructions for 100s of builds you can make with what you have. It costs about €50 a year = €4 per month and much cheaper than a new LEGO set.
Borrow or rent toys:
Ownership is over-rated! Check our Irish toy libraries map below;
- Pink = anyone can use (and many of these post nationwide)
- Blue = Only available when you're referred by an Occupational Therapist for a child with special needs
Re-home your used toys:
When they're no longer getting love in your home, free-up space for yourself and let another family enjoy them by re-homing - via any of the channels listed above for getting pre-loved toys!
Pre-loved school stuff:
- OpeningMinds.ie and also the Book Haven - where you can buy a mixture of new and second-hand books instantly online, and sell used books back to them;
- The Book Market in Clonmel - submit your booklist and they'll let you know what they have - they also supply new and second hand;
- SchoolDays.ie - buy directly from other parents (and/or sell your used books / uniforms);
- Schooly - buy / sell / freecycle books and uniforms;
- Offfer and ask for pre-loved books in parent WhatsApp groups.
Pre-loved kids' clothes in Ireland:
- Lovely Things - we at home are happy customers and know the owner Laura
- Flopsy Shop - we at home are happy customers and know the owner Rachel
- KindFolk - we haven't ordered yet but the range looks gorgeous and we know the owner Orla
- Thriftify - kids' section of a site that local charity shops sell on - each charity shop will send the items separately
- Ask friends and family...we have benefitted from hand-me-downs from one friend and enjoyed them hugely!
What other tips would you add? Thanks in advance!