Being eco-aware is the new mantra for a whole generation. In this highly disposable world, are you the kind of person who does their bit for the environment?
The kind of person who ensures that they recycle all of their waste into the respective bins? Who is cautious about the food they eat and where it’s sourced from? Someone who not only knows what a carbon footprint is, but is actively concerned about the size of their own? And of course – you insist on only using cruelty-free makeup products.
If you have such ethical concerns, then they are a part of you. A choice you make and continue to make. So is your fashion sense, of course – but the two seem destined never to meet. Fashion is fast and furious, the seasonal disposal of clothes in favour of new styles only a little different from what went before. Surely it’s not possible to marry these two sides of you – the fashionista and the eco-aware savvy shopper?
Maybe you have tried to marry these sides of you before. You’re careful about the fibres that you use, your wardrobe is full of ethical activewear and you try and buy as locally as possible. That’s all well and good (really, it is) – but the biggest sustainable fashion faux pas you make is what happens when you’re finished with clothes.
If you find yourself with an item you no longer want, it’s incredibly tempting to just throw it into the bin and be done with it. You know it’s going to be more hassle to do more with it, so the bin calls, and you’re sorely tempted to answer it.
Wait. You’ve got options. Okay, granted, they’re going to take a bit more time than just throwing an unwanted garment into the nearest receptacle and forgetting it exists. But it’ll be worth it – and you might even make some money.
Being Eco-Aware Option One: Give Them Away
One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure, or so the saying goes. Just because you no longer have a place for your chosen garment in your wardrobe doesn’t mean someone else won’t love it. It’s worth a quick scout around social media to see if any of your friends and family might be interested.
Being Eco-Aware Option Two: Reuse Them
Not necessarily as clothes. If you have an eye for sewing, then you can break down old clothes into an endless source of scrap fabric. There are more uses for scrap fabric than you can possibly count – cushions, a bedspread, headboard, pelmet, lampshades, knitted, rug – there are lots of books on the subject. Not to mention the extra eco benefits if you use the fabric to make something rather than buying it.
Being Eco-Aware Option Three: Sell Them
If the clothes in question are still in a good condition, expand on the first point by offering them for sale. You can either try and sell them yourself online, or sell them to a consignment store. The latter is easier, but they will also take a slice of the profits – just something to be aware of!
Being Eco-Aware Option Four: Keep Them As Scrap
There are times in life when you need something absorbent, to soak up a spilled drink or mop up after a sink leaks. Wash then cut old clothes into scraps, ready to be pressed into action at a moment’s notice.
Mat Dusting has created a highly desirable fashion item from a derelict source; discarded truck tarpaulins. Fascinating. In this podcast, Mat discusses being unemployed before starting a business scratch, making duffle bags, sports bags, and laptop bags from old truck tarpaulins. And they are SUPER cool!
Maury Filosano makes products from trash… well.. her artisans do. Maury also started The Trash Run in the USA where she is a warrior for recycling. It’s recycling… but not as you know it!