Extend Your Clothes' Life
Did you know that the average American throws away around 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles every year? How about that clothes can take up to 40 years to decompose? By simply extending the lifetime of your clothes and preventing it from ending up in a landfill, you can significantly diminish your environmental impact.
One of the easiest ways to make sure your clothes continues to be used is by donating it. The most popular places to donate are Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Dress for Success, and Go Green Drop. Before you do so, make sure to do your research on what's accepted and what isn't. Typically, dirty clothes, clothes with holes, and undergarments are not accepted. Do your part and help those who don't have the means to acquire new garments.
Just like there are centers that recycle bottles and plastics, there are centers that recycle textiles! The clothes that is collected is first sorted into piles that can either be donated, reused, or recycled. Then, piles are distributed accordingly. The recyclable textiles are processed and converted into various materials used in knitting, furniture padding, and much more. You can drop off your clothes at permanent collection bins, like the ones set up by UsAgain, or research a textile recycling center near you.
Are you a crafty person? Or are you at least up for the challenge of making your own things? Then upcycling your clothes might be the best form of circular fashion for you. Upcycling in fashion is the process of reusing the clothes you already have and making them into something new. For example, by cutting up and sewing together pieces of your old shirts, you can make a blanket or a pillow cover. The possibilities of upcycling are endless and can save you money, all it takes is a bit of creativity and patience. Here are a few great examples that may inspire you (images taken from Google).
Maybe you have some designer pieces or items that are close to new and want to make some money. There's a great market for secondhand clothes. With the rise of platforms like Poshmark and ThredUp, selling your own clothes has never been easier. Consider putting your clothes up for sale on these platforms, doing a garage sale at home, or simply asking your family and friends if they'd like to purchase it.
Need help deciding what to do with your clothes? Here's a map that can help you make that decision!