Agustina Bluthgen  /   10/01/2021

Sustainable Fashion: Reducing Textile Waste

Is your wardrobe filled with never-used clothes? How many times have you looked at them and not known what to do? Fast and cheap fashion is leading us to a consumption race. This ends up in tonnes of clothing dumped into landfills or burned. This has a huge impact on the environment. The average American throws out about 82lb of clothes every year. Luckily, sustainable fashion is not that difficult to achieve. 

There are some quick and easy ways to sustainably maintain your wardrobe. First, you have to know what you have in your closets. In the back of cupboards and bottom of drawers, you will find old forgotten jeans, shirts, jackets. These might no longer fit you or have fallen out of style. Sustainable fashion is all about finding ways to repurpose those.

Separating your clothes is a great place to start. On one pile you put “gently used” clothes if they are in good condition for someone to wear right now. On the other pile, you select “unwearable clothing,” with textiles that are stained or torn. We are sure you will find some forgotten outfits and will be renewing your wardrobe with clothes you already have!

What to do with gently used clothing

1. Sell

It is now easier than ever to make an extra buck and aid towards sustainable fashion. The used and vintage market has turned around to be an exciting practice. Lots of treasures can be found at a very cheap price. While it requires a little more effort than donating does, you end up with cash in your pocket! You can sell your clothes locally through consignment shops, or you can sell them online. 

Some of the most popular online consignment shops:
www.thredup.com
www.depop.com
www.therealreal.com
shopredone.com

Don’t forget, you can also use Facebook marketplace!

2. Swap

Invite your friends and family to bring 5-10 pieces of clothing they no longer wear. You can also think about some side dishes, drinks, treats, and have a swap party! And trade away. You can also discover swap groups online, such as on Facebook. This is a great way to get a new wardrobe on a budget and also help out sustainable fashion.

3. Donate

Another good idea is to find your nearest local charity center. This way, you will help others and, at the same time, contribute to sustainable fashion. You can head to Donation Town is to help you discover a list of charities willing to take your clothing.  Most of them will even come to your home to pick it up! Visit their website to see if Donation Town is available in your area. Many towns across the country will have a few Goodwill locations nearby where you can drop your old clothes and shop for new items.

What to do with unwearable clothing

Even if your pile is unwearable clothing we can think of some sustainable ideas so they do not end up in a landfill.

1. Repair

A quick Google and Youtube search should you some tailors in your area. Do it yourself or enlist the help of a professional and extend the life of your clothing. DIY can be easy and fun, try it!

2. Repurpose

You can also repurpose your clothes and give them new utilities. You can turn a t-shirt into a tote bag or a scarf, a sweater into a pillow, sew your jeans into a quilt. If the above ideas feel too complicated, cut your clothing up and use them as rags! This is great for cleaning the house or working on cars. Repurposing can turn into a new hobby or simply help around the house.

3. Recycle

Do you think there’s no way to reuse or repurpose your clothes? Try recycling! There are some platforms and brands that have been doing so and may inspire you, like Blue Jeans Go Green, Earth911, even Nike and The North Face, Clothes the Loop.



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