For many people, clearing out closets in spring is an annual tradition. It helps you let go of the pieces that no longer bring you joy, makes room for more current trends, and refreshes your look. However, as with most purging, closet clear-outs leave you with hefty waste piles. Disregarding these waste piles may be more convenient; however, there are plenty of ways to remove clothes sustainability.
Instead of tossing out last season’s garments and perfectly good clothes, adding to the infamous abyss of landfills, let’s do a reduce, reuse, or recycle environmental switch out. Here are sustainable ways to clear out your closet for a fashionable and greener lifestyle.
Reduce: Donate Quality Outfits
Most generic clothing fabrics take time to break down, making them long-term residents at landfills. Many clothing materials also contain dyes and microplastics that further pollute their surroundings as they degrade out in the open. Reducing fabric waste and finding different ways to get rid of your unwanted clothes minimizes litter and pollutants exposed to nature. Continue reading to learn more about how to reduce the size of your closet while staying sustainable.
Say goodbye to your old closet without hurting the planet by donating your clothes. There are many benefits of second-hand clothing, including discounted deals on designer items and rare vintage finds. Contribute to sustainable fashion and donate—or sell—some of your quality fits to the many second-hand resources available, from thrift stores to clothing exchange apps. While you’re dropping off your donations, restock your wardrobe and thrift some new pieces to fully enjoy all the benefits of sustainable fashion practices.
Reuse: Repurpose Your Well-Loved Items
Clearing out your closet offers many benefits. It keeps you organized, streamlines the getting-ready process, and allows you to hop on new clothing trends. However, attachments and memories never make it easy.
Keeping your first concert merch gives you a tangible reminder of your time screaming your lungs out as your favorite band takes the stage. But other than that, it provides little use, especially if it never leaves your closet. Finding creative ways to repurpose your graphic tees and other favorite garments allows you to reuse your clothes in different ways and keep the memories alive with minimal waste. Repurposing your favorite garments will be essential in helping to reduce clothing waste in your community.
Recycle: Drop Off Damaged Pieces to Textile Recycling
Damaged clothes are trickier to get rid of when you’re avoiding the trash can—or lack any sewing skills. In some communities, there are designated textile recycling programs. They collect all sorts of fabric scraps and damaged clothing and find different ways to recycle them sustainably.
These programs can turn some of the collected textiles into green fashion designs. Others will patch up materials and donate them elsewhere. Finding your local textile recycling program—or one that accepts deliveries—allows you to recycle any damaged clothes that don’t make the donation pile.
There are many ways to partake in sustainable and green fashion, from shopping second-hand to sourcing out ethical designers. Clearing out your closet the sustainable way and practicing some good old reducing, reusing, and recycling allows you to join the environmental fashion movement and the benefits it offers. So don’t just clean out your closet this season. Instead, considering including these sustainable practices for recycling your closet.