Use-Ta!: extending the life of premium children’s and maternity clothing

Published: 28 November 2022
Use-Ta! owner, Kiri Gorter, sorting through preloved baby clothing.

Use-Ta! engages in circular economy principles through upcycling high-end children’s and maternity clothing. Extending the life of products like these keeps quality clothing out of landfill while completely avoiding the materials needed to produce brand new items. Reselling pre-loved designer brands also improves the affordability of quality clothing.

Use-Ta! is a Melbourne based preloved children’s and maternity wear store – stocking local and international designer labels. Woman-owned and run, this business sources excellent condition second hand children’s and maternity clothing to on-sell. Use-Ta! also offers a consignment program for customers to sell their own preloved clothing.

Although preloved clothing is often less expensive, customers still desire a pleasant shopping experience. Use-Ta! strives to meet that need through creating a boutique style environment, ensuring clothing is clean and well organised with attentive and friendly staff. Use-Ta! is selective with stock choices and enjoys showcasing independent designers and natural fibers within their fashionable looks.

Challenges faced

A significant challenge for Use-Ta! has been overcoming customer perceptions around purchasing preloved clothing. The stereotype of old, musty, out of fashion clothing in second-hand stores has persisted for a long time. Thankfully, that perception is changing and now it’s becoming a boasting point to buy something second-hand. People feel proud to be doing their bit to reduce their personal carbon footprint, while still maintaining their individual style.

Educating customers around the consignment sales model was another challenge. While it’s common in Europe and America, Australia has been slow to take advantage of this great opportunity to upcycle their wardrobes.

Insights and tips for other businesses

Use-Ta! recommends traction. There are many options available that allow businesses to lean into the circular movement, such as rental options or buying back worn garments. The preloved shopping model is increasing for reselling or upcycling. The scope for innovation and to provide value for customers while helping the environment is huge.

Recommended actions

At a government level, Use-Ta! would love to see more support for businesses engaging with circular economy models. For example, tax breaks for businesses providing item repairs, to encourage fix-and-mend models, rather than default processes of landfill disposal. Governments could fiscally discourage companies that fuel the continuation of low-quality fast fashion production and strengthen consumer guarantees to create uniformity in quality standards. Collaboration between industry and government is needed to support innovative ways to enhance textile sustainability in Australia.


Learn more

For more information, visit the Use-Ta! website: