Clearing out your wardrobe every so often is a great way to keep things organised, however it can have an impact on the environment when not done sustainably. The fashion industry is responsible for a horrendous amount of waste each year, so there are a few things you can do to ensure you are limiting your contribution to that.
These simple tips will take barely any time and won’t cost you any money, but will really help the environment!
Create Keep, Sell and Donate Bags
When you start clearing out your wardrobe, take everything out of your wardrobe and lay it all out onto your bed. Go through your items one at a time and decide whether you are going to keep, sell or donate each item. To help you decide this, consider whether you will wear the item again, how well it fits you and whether someone else might get more use out of it.
Also, consider the quality and condition of the item, as rather than donating, if they are in good condition they could be sold on. This way, you can make some extra money which can be reinvested in sustainable or ethically made clothing. Anything that is still in good condition but not the best quality can be donated.
This should help to simplify the process of deciding what should be kept, sold and donated and to help you make sustainable decisions.
Try Your Items On Again
Before selling or donating any clothes, make sure you try all the items on again. Be creative and mix and match them with different things that you might not think would work, as you could be surprised! Try different trousers or skirts with blouses or new accessories with dresses, especially if you haven’t tried them in a long time. Take your plain tracksuits and mix them up with each other to create unique and effortless streetwear looks.
Instead of buying new products, try to rediscover items in your wardrobe in a new way, as that is the most sustainable thing you can do!
Vacuum Pack Off-Season Clothes
Instead of throwing away your seasonal clothes, simply pack off-season clothes away. For example, when summer comes around, rather than throwing away lots of your winter clothes and rebuying the year after, buy vacuum pack bags and store them neatly away in the loft or in a storage cupboard for the following year.
That way, you will have plenty of space in the wardrobe to see all your clothes you will be wearing that season and you will have your winter clothes ready to go for the year after. This is a cost effective and eco-friendly method that will make things much easier each year.
Organise A Clothes Swap
When you’re clearing out your wardrobe, get in touch with a friend or family member and see if they’d be interested in doing a clothes swap. This is a great way of getting rid of clothes you don’t get much use out of without impacting the environment. Your clothes will get another lease of life with their new owner and you could have access to some great new pieces you will get plenty of wear out of!
You could organise a swap shop on a bigger scale with a group of friends and make it a social event. Each friend or family member could bring 5-10 items they no longer want or need, and you could all have a look around and pick up a few different pieces. You will find some unique items you won’t easily find in the shops, you will be helping the environment along the way and you will save some money!
Rather than paying each other for the clothes, you could all donate £5 to go towards a sustainability charity. Knowing your clothes are going to a good home where they will get worn over and over is a great incentive to encourage you to have a good clear out.
Avoid Plastic Hangers
When you are doing your clear out, replace any plastic hangers with wooden alternatives. Although this might sound wasteful, plastic hangers break very easily so you will need to replace them at some point. Plus, plastic hangers can be damaging to sensitive fabrics and they can be flimsy which could cause heavier items of clothing to become misshapen.
Take your plastic hangers to a charity shop where they will get used and invest in your more sustainable alternatives. Not only will you be saving plastic in the long run, but you will also buy clothes less often as your clothing will be well supported on the wooden hangers. This will reduce damage and help you to keep your clothes for years!
Clearing out your wardrobe is a must sometimes, as it can help you to feel more organised and you can pass over a few pieces to other people where they will be loved! When clearing out or buying clothes, just try your best to be mindful of the consequences it might have, and think of eco-friendly alternatives.