Sustainably Spring Clean Your Wardrobe

Today is the last day of Fashion Revolution Week – a week that has mobilised the world to ask #whomademyclothes and to demand more transparency in the garment industry.

And so with this week coming to an end, I want to ask what you do with all the chlothes that you no longer want, the ones that you push to the back of your wardrobe, forever forgotten.

Is it the end for them?

The answer: absolutely not.

sustainably spring clean your wardrobe 1
Photo credit: Fashion Revolution

We live in a ‘throwaway society’ meaning that we throw things away as soon as we no longer see value in it, even though these things still work or still are useful.

But this is a society that is harmful to the environment and to its resources. Did you know that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world after oil?

sustainably spring clean your wardrobe 3
Photo credit: Fashion Revolution

But, by extending the life of our clothes, each of us can make a significant difference to the reduction of carbon waste and water consumption.

So with this in mind I’ve put together 4 of the best ways to spring clean your wardrobe sustainably!

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Photo credit: Fashion Revolution

1. LOOK AGAIN

So often we forget those hidden gems that we have lying at the back of our wardrobe. We become obsessed with this idea of buying new, of buying again and again. But what if you were to look at the clothes you already own with a fresh set of eyes? Next time you open your wardrobe, look again at what you already own and I promise you will be amazed. Be creative! Think about new ways of styling your clothes in ways that will give these items a new lease of life.

2. SHARE CLOTHES

The rise of the sharing economy is one that could really shake up the fashion industry, spelling the end of fast fashion. Now, not only can you share items of clothing with your closest friends but also with people all over the world. Sites such as Poshmark, Le Tote, Tradesy and Kidizen allow consumers to sell, buy and rent items of clothing at a fraction of their retail price, promoting a smaller fashion footprint by challenging conventional ‘throwaway’ habits.

3. UPCYCLE FABRICS

For the most creative amongst you, why don’t you upcycle your clothes? There are thousands of ideas online for upcycling fabrics. One of my favourite resources is Upcycle That, a website that inspires people to creatively repurpose and reuse. Perhaps your old jeans could be remade into a cushion or that dress could become a tote… the possibilities are endless!

4. DONATE

One of the oldest and easiest ideas in the book – you can donate your clothes to charity shops or homeless shelters where not only will the items get a second lease of life but they will also be used to support worthy causes.

Sustainably Spring Clean Your Wardrobe

So there you have it – 4 ways to extend the life of your clothes. Now you have no excuse to throw them away!

If you have any other tips I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

6 Replies to “Sustainably Spring Clean Your Wardrobe”

  1. Recycling and reinventing our clothes is the way forward! The figures about the value of our clothes lurking unloved and unused in our wardrobes, cupboards and drawers is scary. And wasteful! Here’s a good idea that works well – We have organised swop parties (no! Not like that 🙄) to raise money for charity. All you do is persuade a lovely hostess to open up their home, invite friends for a small ticket price (we have always said £5 a ticket) , provide nibbles and a little drink, and ask them to bring some clothes they no longer want and then simply swop it for someone else’s unwanted goodies! Fun, sociable evening out – we have extended it to include jewellery and accessories as well as clothes!
    When the children were young my friends and I were always giving their clothes to each other. Babies and toddlers grow so quickly they rarely get full use from their clothes. I think there is a stigma of “charity” clothes that we as a society need to address. If we can get rid of the charity tag and reinvent it as sharing it is the sensible way to go – swopping and donating to friends makes sense! It is not charity it’s sensible – reducing waste, helping our environment.

    Lastly, have you heard of a company called New Life? They are based in Cannock and have raised An absolute fortune for charity – specifically for new born babies. It is a huge business – in essence it is a sale of clothes, furniture and household goods that have been returned to companies slightly damaged or have not sold for some reason and then donated to New Life. Instead of throwing them away items are sold at reduced prices. Labels are removed but the canny amongst us can easily find out where goods come from – The White Company, Oasis, Marks and Spencer, Marc Jacobs, Monsoon, Charles Tyrwhitt to name but a few! An annual membership is required to access the shops – more money for charity together with a use for items that otherwise would be in landfill, broken up and wasted! Let’s face it, everyone loves a bargain so it is a win win for everyone and the environment, I will leave you to check out their website for more info. I know it’s not the usual type of thing you write about but any way we as a society can reduce our carbon footprint and use things for longer and help each other out a little has to be a positive! Keep up the good work!

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    1. Wow thank you Marian!! What a lovely message to read! Your swop parties sound like such fun, you’ll have to invite me to your next one 🙂 I completely agree it makes so much sense to swop and share rather than buy new every time plus it’s so much better for the environment. I think that as a society we are just obsessed with the idea of buying things new when really there is often no need! I’ve just had a look online at New Life – what a fantastic idea!! I’ll have to make a trip back up to Birmingham some time soon just to check them out…! I love how they encourage the use of items that would otherwise be thrown away whilst also donating profits to charity – such a brilliant idea! Thanks again Marian xx

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