Welcome to Day 4 of little miss sorted’s 7 Day Sustainable Declutter Challenge:
Tales of Fast Fashion & Wardrobe Woes
The fashion industry uses more resources than the planet can sustain, clocking up greenhouse emissions of 1.2 billion tonnes a year – larger than that of international flights and shipping combined. Fast-changing trends and low prices see the average consumer now purchasing 60 percent more items of clothing compared to 2000, but each garment is kept only half as long. A staggering 95% of clothing thrown away in landfill could have been reused or recycled.
By diverting your clothes from landfill, you help reduce the amount of natural resources needed to produce new garments.
Top Tips to sustainably declutter your wardrobe
The truth is, most of us wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time so no wonder it takes longer than it should to get ready in the morning. Think of all the clothes you forgot you had that are getting in the way of finding the only pair of jeans* you actually wear!
- As is often the case, the starting point is to consider your acquiring habits. Only buy what you need. Try it on in the store, make sure it fits well, that the colour and style suit you, that it’s good quality and you have something to wear it with. Resist poor quality clothing that you know only gets worn a handful of times before it starts falling apart, going out of shape or developing holes. Never buy something just because it is on sale or that doesn’t fit you right now. If you try something on and it is just ‘okay’, leave it in the store. Unless you are happy to burst out of the fitting room and give the sales assistants a fashion show, you should probably give it a miss
- Try this trick to identify the “hangers-on” in your wardrobe. Pick a memorable date to hang all your coat hangers back-to-front (hooking under the rail from the back). Each time you put something away after wearing it, hang your item the normal way (hooking over the bar from the front). At a glance you can see what hasn’t been worn in a while and if it’s been a whole season or more without getting a guernsey (pardon the pun), it should be safe to donate
- Only donate items in good, wearable condition. If you’re donating items in poor condition for rags, make sure they are going to an organisation that accepts this type of donation, otherwise you’re just creating an expensive landfill problem for a charity that doesn’t need the extra expense and wasting an opportunity to recycle. As much as I am loathed to promote a company that is a big contributor to the fast fashion problem, I have to give kudos to H&M who, since 2013 have had a garment collection program that accepts garments in any condition. Just drop them in the collection boxes in their stores
- Don’t discard your clothes to landfill without considering all the sustainable alternatives. See the Resources list below and on the little miss sorted website for suggestions
Top Tips to organise your wardrobe
- Only keep it if you feel fabulous in it. If wearing it makes you feel less than great, get rid of it. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life
- Your wardrobe should reflect your lifestyle. Work how often you wear various categories of clothing. If you wear corporate clothing 70% of the time (5 days a week), then 70% of your wardrobe should be corporate. Likewise, there’s no point having a cupboard full of evening gowns if you go to a formal event once a year
- Store the items you wear most frequently front and centre in your wardrobe. Use space up high, down low or in the harder to reach corners for clothing worn less frequently. Occasional clothing can be stored further away, in another location or perhaps packed away seasonally if you need more space
Environmentally friendly resources when decluttering your wardrobe:
|Women’s good quality/condition work & interview appropriate clothing, accessories, handbags & near-new/unworn shoes
Brand new underwear, bras & hosiery with tags attached or unopened in packet
|Dress for Success is a global organisation with a branch right here on the Mornington Peninsula. Click here to find more locations|
|Casual & dress clothing||The Conscious Closet|
|Sports Shoes||Shoes for Planet Earth accept sport shoes in clean, decent condition (worth shipping to another country!)|
|Old reading glasses||Recycle for Sight|
|Bras||The Uplift Project, although Vic & Qld are currently at capacity until they can raise funds to ship what they already have in storage. Donate funds here to help
Try your local op shop or charity such as Oxfam
|Wigs & turbans||The Uplift Project|
|Handbags||Share the Dignity run a campaign every November collecting handbags filled with personal items for women in need|
|Clothing in any condition||H&M garment collection boxes in stores|
|Most if not all charity shops accept all size clothing, shoes and accessories so look one up in your local area. Some also accept unwearable clothing to turn into rags for industry such as mechanics. Please check before donating clothes in poor condition as not all offer this and note children’s clothing is usually too small||Check out the Givenow or recyclingnearyou websites to choose a suitable charity near you and read more about donating clothes for rags|
All these resources and more will be added to the little miss sorted Resources page on the website. We are constantly updating our Resources Lists so check back regularly.
Tomorrow’s challenge will have you busy in the bathroom so look out for lots of hints, tips and resources and remember you can drop your unwanted items from the list mentioned in my post on Sunday to me any day during National Organising Week. Tomorrow you will find me here:
|Fri 9th March|
|The Garden – Frankston (Near the Entrance)|
|4 Ross Smith Ave W, Frankston|
*How many pairs of jeans do you have? And how many do you wear? If you’re brave, post your answer or a photo below.
Happy Sustainable Decluttering! The planet thanks you.