Princess Charlotte and her brother Prince Louis. Picture: Reuters

We can all learn from Duchess Kate's recycling of clothes, writes Marchelle Abrahams.

Dressed in a white elegant dress, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, kept things simple while attending the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. 

Onlookers noticed she went through careful pains when choosing an outfit. After all, it was Markle’s day, not hers. And then Twitter’s eagle-eyed investigators pointed out something that would have otherwise gone unrecognised - she had worn the same ensemble, not once, but three times before.

The white dress in question by Alexander McQueen was previously spotted at Princess Charlotte’s christening and the queen’s birthday.

Catherine is known for her classy, fabulously maintained style.

One thing we can’t fault her on is how she’s managed to recycle some of her best looks with effortless chic.


When she released the first official photographs of Prince Louis, lovingly cuddled by big sister Charlotte, the world gave a collective “aaahhh”.

Dressed in a cream jersey and leggings set, it was the same outfit worn by Charlotte for her very first portrait.

The matching outfit by Irulea is now called the Princess Charlotte set.

The matching outfit by Irulea is now called the Princess Charlotte set. Picture: Reuters

It’s not the first time she’s dressed her brood in hand-me-downs - Charlotte previously wore another of George’s cardigans.

Catherine has now made hand-me-downs trendy again.

And if it’s good enough for royalty, it’s good enough for the rest of us, right?

We asked a few mothers if they let their children wear hand-me-downs. Here’s what they had to say:

“It depends on who is offering. We have some friends and family that are not the cleanest of people - if they were to offer, I wouldn’t take it. And then some people don’t care about the condition of the clothes. They think they are doing you a favour, but then the clothes look like crap.” - Robyn Jacobs

“As long as it’s in a good condition I don’t see any issue with it. It saves me money and some of the items have sentimental value.” - Kim Kay

“Personally, I’m not a fan of it. I don’t like the feeling of my children wearing something that belonged to someone else before them. I’ll give clothes away, but I won’t take it in return. - Candace Solomons

Lynne McMaster is a professional image and fashion consultant. She said rules apply when passing clothing on.

Catherine with Princess Charlotte at the royal wedding. Picture: AP

“A good time is when babies and toddlers haven’t developed their own style, provided that the clothing is of a good quality.” “It also makes financial sense to do this with expensive items that they outgrow quickly.

“For new parents, this could be a lifesaver, considering the hidden costs that come with bringing a new baby into the world.”

McMaster adds that in instances where clothing looks worn, old and tatty - that is a big no-no.

Besides the financial advantages, recycling baby clothes is good for the environment. Over 11 million tons of textile materials are wasted each year, the Huffington Post reported in 2016.

It’s not exactly a small carbon footprint to leave behind.

Even the fashion industry is moving towards a more sustainable future with many brands utilising recycling technology and natural fibres.

So in theory we should be wearing our clothes for much longer.

This is exactly what UK-based clothing brand Howies is trying to achieve. They are adding an emotional value to their garments and encouraging consumers to pass on robust items which tell a story.

It’s the sentimental value. There’s a certain nostalgia attached to it, the very reason for Catherine’s thought-out plans.

For example, Prince George once wore a pair of shorts and a shirt first worn by his father, Prince William in 1984.

Some items trigger a special memory, making them significantly more valuable than others. To this, McMaster said definitely keep them.

“They trigger memories that last a lifetime and they make for family stories and can be passed on from one generation to the next.”