If you read Part I, you will know that the disposable nature of clothing is wreaking havoc on our environment, especially since most of it is made from manufactured fabrics using petrochemicals that don’t biodegrade. On the procurement end, here is what you can do:
- Buy clothes made from natural materials. These would be cottons and fibers (wool and hair). You can also buy clothes made from plant fibers, the fabric is called ‘Rayon’, but Rayon is only marginally better than polyesters and the like, because of the extensive processing using harmful chemicals that turns plants like bamboo into fabric.
- Buy classics, accessorize with fashion. This ensures you wear all of your clothes for longer.
But what is to be done once you have finished with an item and want to discard it? Here are some green methods to reuse and recycle your wardrobe (and they don’t require sewing or the skill set of a seamstress).
Recycle – donate your clothes at one of the many ‘recycling’ bins around town. This has become somewhat controversial, since many of these companies actually make a profit from reselling your clothes, or turning them into rags or other recycled fabrics. Why shouldn’t you be the one to make money then? You can. Read the next point. I personally don’t have a problem if they make a dollar on my donation, I just don’t want it ending up in landfill.
Re-sell – if you have something that is good quality and good shape, post it on eBay, leave it at a consignment store, or have a fashonista yard sale. The ultimate green thing to do is to extend use. This idea is particularly useful for Halloween costumes your children will only ever wear once, ballet recital clothes, things that you have grown out of, or those ‘what was I thinking’ purchases.
Re-purpose your clothes, find other uses for them! Here are some super cool ideas!
- Turn t-shirts into shopping bags (no sew)
- Old jeans into fun play time (no sew)
- Make a t-shirt rag rug (no sew)
- Make a toy for your pup (no sew)
- Sweater into a pillow (some sewing)
- Turn a sweater into DIY boot socks
- Turn t-shirts into yarn
- Baby clothes into magical creatures (some sewing, but so stinking cute)
There are THOUSANDS of ideas out there. You never need throw a t-shirt away again!