Textile waste is a specific type of waste that many of us might not think about in our day to day lives. When we think of waste, food and packaging related waste likely comes to mind first and it can be easy to forget the impact that our discarded clothes can have on the environment. However, reducing textile waste is just as important and taking steps to lessen the amount of clothing you throw out is a great way to help the planet and lessen your environmental impact. Thankfully, there are lots of ways you can reduce your clothing waste and we have included some examples below to help you get started!
- Avoid fast fashion. Fast fashion is also by design, disposal fashion. It’s made to be worn short term and then discarded for the next trend. Instead of buying fast fashion items, look for items that are well made and less trendy so they’ll last longer and won’t be out of style next season thus allowing you to enjoy them for years to come. If you can find items made out of recycled or environmentally friendly materials, that’s even better!
- Repair your clothes. Even the most well-made clothing will at some point wear out but that doesn’t always mean it has to be discarded. Some items might just require a simple sewing repair to have them looking like new. Many repairs can be done with just thread, a needle and some basic sewing skills. If you don’t know how to sew, there are many resources online that can help.
- Donate any clothes you don’t want or wear. Rather than throwing your old or unworn clothes out, donate them instead. As they say, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure!
- Buy secondhand. If you love shopping, this is one of the most enjoyable ways to reduce your textile waste. Of course there are chain stores like Value Village that sell secondhand clothing but we recommend checking out some of your local thrift stores and consignment shops in your area. They often have some really interesting, one of a kind pieces and you can feel good knowing you are supporting local businesses. In addition, by purchasing secondhand clothing, you are helping continue the life of the item so it doesn’t end up in a landfill. You also aren’t contributing to the production of new clothing and as such, the production of any waste associated with the manufacturing of said clothing.
- Repurpose old or unwanted clothes. If you are someone who enjoys DIY projects, there are lots of projects available on the internet that involve turning your old or unwanted clothes into something new. There are lots of resources which can help you understand sewing basics. We especially love these DIY hair posies. If you are feeling adventurous and have some old jeans lying around, you might want to create a jean quilt as well.