An Open Letter to Parents and Manufacturers: Rethinking Baby Gear for a Sustainable Future

Dear Community,

I recently came across Tatiana Schlossber and Emily Oster’s insightful article, Baby Gear and the Environment and after reading I felt compelled to share how it affirms the mission of my company, GoodBuy Gear. I also felt compelled to emphasize an important piece that Schlossber and Oster do not mention in their article: we are currently at a crossroads in consumerism, but there is a solution. 

GoodBuy Gear was founded on the belief that change is necessary and possible. Our startup envisions a world where baby items and kid gear are designed for longevity, not landfills. Our goal is to inspire a shift towards durable, modular goods—items that can evolve with a child's needs and be easily repaired or repurposed, aiding parent’s budgets and reducing the need for constant new purchases. 

In the realm of baby gear specifically, the highly wasteful quantity of short-term kid gear is a significant environmental challenge. This wastefulness is not just about excess products cluttering our homes; it's about the environmental impact of these products. A vast majority of kid gear are made from plastics and are used for only a short period before ending up in landfills or oceans. This cycle contributes to environmental degradation and sets a concerning precedent for the next generation.

Addressing this challenge, there is a practical solution: embracing the use of pre-loved items. Buying used is not only a smart choice for your financial budget but also a significant environmental action. By opting for secondhand baby gear, we can increase sustainability and drastically extend the life of these baby items, reduce waste, and significantly lessen the need for new manufacturing. This approach effectively reduces each item's carbon footprint by up to 86%, fostering a sustainable cycle that benefits manufacturers, parents, future generations, and our planet.

Embracing pre-loved items plays a significant role in this sustainability cycle; however, we acknowledge that sourcing secondhand baby items can be time-consuming, and concerns about safety and quality are valid. Reliable, safe options are essential. Systems that offer both sustainability and dependability, such as GoodBuy Gear, address these concerns by ensuring the quality and safety of products.

Now this is where I challenge you to buy used baby gear instead of new. 

To Manufacturers:

We urge you to join us in this sustainability movement. Consider the full lifecycle of your kid gear products and invest in designs that are durable, repairable, and adaptable. We also invite you to collaborate with companies like GoodBuy Gear to prevent returns and unsold items from ending up in landfills. Currently, valuable products like car seats are being incinerated when they are returned to retailers, a wasteful practice that can be avoided. Remember the backlash Burberry faced for burning unsold clothes? They eventually found a sustainable solution with Vestiaire Collective. Let's work together to ensure your baby items find new homes, contributing to a circular economy rather than adding to waste. GoodBuy Gear is ready to partner with you, offering safe and economical pathways to keep these products in circulation.

To Our Fellow Parents:

Your purchasing decisions have immense power and every choice you make can steer the industry towards more sustainable and ethical practices. When buying new, opt for products that are well-made and consider their resale value. Avoid manufacturers that produce non-dismantlable, uncleanable, or irreparable plastic products and be mindful of your online shopping habits. Did you know purchasing multiple cheap items only to return most of them is unsustainable? These products often don't get resold and end up in landfills. And when you don’t have the time to do extensive research because you're focused on parenting, lean on us, GoodBuy Gear. Our online marketplace quality checks every secondhand baby item and never lists recalled gear, so you can shop sustainably with confidence. We’re constantly demanding better practices from manufacturers on every parents’ behalf to make each baby gear purchase a responsible one. 

Let's redefine consumerism. Let's choose a future where every purchase, big or small, contributes to a healthier planet. Join us in this journey towards a sustainable, sensible approach to parenting. Our children, and our world, deserve no less. 


Kristin Langenfeld

CEO and Co-Founder

GoodBuy Gear



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