And shoes. Good grief, kids get through footwear like it's going out of fashion. It seems like five minutes after you've bought a pair, their toes are coming through the pointy end again. Which is a financial issue, of course, but also a sustainability nightmare. There are sacks of clothes in most family's wardrobes that are simply unwearable by the persons for which they were bought. You can donate or remake, but for the most part little Johnny's nine-month old trainers are going straight to landfill.
The problem becomes more painful when you consider the billions of children worldwide who can't afford that constant upgrade path. For many, there is no choice. Once you grow out of a pair of shoes, you don't wear shoes anymore. This opens up a whole new word of injury risk and infection by soil-borne disease.
Aid-worker Kenton Lee thinks he's found a solution. The Shoe That Grows is... Well, exactly that. Made from durable materials, the sandal-like construction is designed to expand by up to five shoe sizes. As the child's foot grows, you simply let out the snaps and hey bingo, the shoe fits again. Kenton believes The Shoe That Grows could last a child through most of their school life, with a single change needed from Small (Kindergarten to 4th Grade) to Large (5th to 9th Grade). Easy to clean and easy to use, The Shoe That Grows solves an awful lot of problems in one neat (and frankly rather stylish) idea.
One pair of shoes that will last for five years? That's every parent's dream! You can buy a pair via theshoethatgrows.org and the organisation will donate two pairs to kids in need. Or you can help partner charities to fill a duffle with shoes for kids in need worldwide. $15 (that's about £10 in proper money) is all it costs to get one pair of Shoes That Grow on its way to help a kid walk tall.
In fact, we feel so strongly about The Shoe That Grows that we've bought a pair to help fill a duffel. That's what you call putting your foot in it.