When fashion first started creeping onto the scene, the age of textile waste was born. In modern society, especially as far as high fashion is concerned, reusing anything is not a popular trend. As different designers and brands compete to stand out, to be the most relevant, shocking, trendy, pioneering, or on the cutting edge of the industry, styles come and go at an incredible rate. And as the puppeteers of the industry make the calls, the rest of society is often all too happy to fall in line and go out to buy new outfits, despite the fact that they have plenty of clothes back in their closets at home.
Being more conscious about your clothing choices
There’s nothing wrong with having an interest in fashion. It can be an expression of art and the self. But when textiles have become the second largest source of waste in the overflowing landfills that are suffocating the planet, it’s time to reassess. One thing that everyone can do is to be mindful of how many possessions they have or acquire that they do not actually use or need.
- Here are a few ways that you can ensure you are not a major contributor to the textile waste:
- When you shop
If you are on the hunt for a new outfit, or even if you happen to randomly find the perfect new jacket, shirt, or accessory that you simply cannot live without, start brainstorming about what you have in your closet at home that it will replace. And when you do get home, at the same time that you put your new purchase away, take out something to get rid of.
- When you clean
Spring cleaning, or just a random weekend will often find you doing some deep cleaning. Take that opportunity to go through your closets and dresser drawers and get rid of anything that you haven’t worn in a month, if you live in a warm climate. If you live in an area with more than one season, get rid of anything that you haven’t worn in six months.
- When you are ready for a project
Sometimes you just want to create something. If you have items in your wardrobe that you won’t wear again, cut up the fabric to make something new! There are plenty of blogs and ideas online that can give you instructions on how to make something beautiful or useful out of something that would otherwise just sit in your closet.
Don’t just toss it!
Once you get into the habit of eliminating the things that you do not use or need, do not just dump those old clothes and items into the trash. You may be simplifying your life, but you are contributing to the problem of the environment.
The best option is to find a good charity pick up service, or find a local donation center. Those charitable donations end up helping families in need as well as keeping waste from harming the earth. Hoping to encourage these types of actions, many centers that accept clothing donations also offer this charity pick up service to make it even easier for people who might be on the fence about the weight of their contributions.
Changing the habits of the masses
A typical American consumer will throw out about 82 pounds of clothing and other textile waste each and every year. And the trend of excessive fashion consumerism continues to grow at alarming rates. Back in 1930, which was not that long ago, relatively speaking, the average woman in the United States owned about nine different outfits. Now, the average is around 30 outfits. Even if you feel the necessity to wear something different every day of the month, a smart shopper will be able to construct their wardrobe in such a way that it can be mixed and matched, and reduce the need for extra pieces of clothing.
The good news is that there are people who want to turn things around. About 95.4% of Americans give charitably, and an average consumer buys 10 pounds of used clothing every year. Utilizing services like charity pick ups is a great first step. And if you really want to make a difference, you could organize a charity pick up yourself!