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Back to School Lessons in Responsible Thriftiness

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Back-to-School-photos

Every good parent knows that raising respectable, upstanding children requires love, integrity and the periodic dose of deceit. Marketing, peer comparisons and shiny, new things influence kids, just as they do adults. This is extraordinarily evident during this period that retailers like to call Back to School.

To hear J.C. Penny tell it, everyone needs a new everything before that first recess bell rings in the classroom.

We at Nikwax welcome all kids – young and old – to be part of the environmental and social solution by investing in the longevity of our purchases. We are proud to be 100% fluorochemical free, thereby providing safe alternatives for your in-home cleaning and waterproofing. With so many formulas to choose from in the Nikwax line-up, your biggest challenge to keeping your kids’ outdoor gear in good shape will be how fast those little people tend to grow. Buy less, experience more.

And in case you need a little help imparting that lesson, read on:

Exhibit A: What once was old is new again.

Aliases: Hand-me-downs, older sister/brother’s stuff, re-runs, saving money

Teachable moment: Look! You finally get to own the rain jacket you always used to “borrow” from your older sister. It’s all yours and she’ll have to ask you if she can borrow it now.

What kids hear: Take your sister’s gnarly old slicker. You’ll never have anything nice.

Positive spin: Restore the piece with some Nikwax gear rehab (we suggest Tech Wash and waterproofing), and then customize it somehow. Sew a sweet patch on it. Write the new owner’s name in permanent marker on the inside. If all else fails, pull a “Portlandia” and put a bird on it.

Lesson learned: Dignity is not found in amassing “stuff,” it’s found in honoring everyone and everything around you. Reusing and repurposing should be the norm, not the exception.

Exhibit B: Yes, dear, of course your beloved [insert item here] is still good.

Teachable moment: If you want [item] to last, you need to care for it. Just like you need to feed Mrs. Goldfish so she stays alive, it’s important to take care of your things if you want them to continue to work.

What kids hear: If something isn’t working mom or dad will fix it.

Positive spin: If you want a puppy, you’re going to have to show me that you can take care of the things you already have. Specifically, please show me that you know how to use the washing machine and how to read your clothing tags.

Lesson learned: It’s easier, less expensive and far less wasteful to care for something well, than to replace it with something new.

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