In part 1 of Say No to Fast Fashion, we told you what fast fashion was and how we are doing our part to stop it. What is the point of shedding light on a problem without offering a solution? Now it’s time to put a positive spin on this issue and show how YOU can help make a difference. Fast fashion is a cycle and we can’t expect the fast fashion retailers to put a stop to it. What we can do is make the effort to be more mindful of our choices.
Okay so we mentioned in Part 1 that only 15% of garments actually make their way to consignment stores. Those that are donated can’t be resold because of the condition they are in. But sometimes it is still the best way to purge your closet of some things you do not want anymore. So before you donate, take a look at the clothes. Any holes? Any stains? Any funny smells? No? Then you can probably safely donate your clothes.
Like with any other waste, recycling your textiles can be a great alternative to throwing them out. Its a concept that has actually been around for decades, but still something that many don’t seem to know much about. One of the most popular drop-off textile recycling sites is actually ironically one of the world’s biggest fast fashion retailers: H&M. If you drop off your clothes they will give you a 15% coupon for a future purpose. However, you have to be careful because H&M is still a fast fashion retailer; at the end of the day, their goal is to get you to buy more clothes. They may be trying to help out, but they may be further perpetuating the problem by giving out coupons to get customers in store. The North Face, Levi’s, and Patagonia offer similar programs, as well as many other national retailers. Look around for stores near you that will take your old textiles.
Alternatives include looking at websites like Earth 911, Not only will it tell you where you where you can recycle old clothes, but also where you can recycle tons of other things as well! Everything from tennis balls, to refrigerators, to Christmas trees. Another company Planet Aid also offers cloth recycling, though in the form of collection bins that they set up in pubic places. It is another great alternative if you just want to drop and go.
Some states have even implemented curb side pickup for textiles. Other places have local small businesses that do textile recycling. Just a quick google search should tell you what is available in your area!
Got a raggedy old t-shirt with so many holes resembling a slice if Swiss cheese? If you don’t really feel like making the trip all the way to a donation center for 1 or 2 things, just repurpose it. Theres tons of DIY tutorials on Youtube and Pinterest on how to cut up and re-make old clothing something entirely new! Just check out some of our favorites below. And if something really is just too worn out to make anything out of it, just use it as a cleaning rag! That way your saving one more garment from going into a landfill and a ton of paper towels from going in the trash as well.
When you do buy clothes, be a conscious consumer. Is what your buying built to last? Or is it gonna fall apart in a year? Some clothing companies are more concerned with staying on trend, so their clothes are made to last only until the next trend comes along. Its up to YOU to make the right choice for you.
Another big problem occurs when people buy entire outfits around one piece. Before you start buying an entire outfit to match one new item, think about what you already own. Is there something already in your closet that would match? Chances are there is indeed something. Not only will thinking about this reduce your consumption, but it will also give new life to old pieces you already have.
If we all stopped and took a moment to think about our clothing consumption and the textiles we throw away, the world will become a much happier place for all. And the environment will thank you!