The lovely Nadine reminded me of a horrifying story about the fashion retailer H&M which she urged me to share on the site.
You may have read it yourself, but if you didn’t catch it, H&M in Manhattan were caught deliberately destroying clothes that the store no longer needed with box cutters or razors.
They didn’t consider donating it to the one third of the city who are poor, homeless or needy; instead they cut fingers off gloves, cut the instep of shoes suitable for school children and slashed men’s jackets across the body and arms.
To be fair, H&M aren’t the only baddies. Apparently Walmart have a similar policy and Anthropologie regularly destroy high quality goods. When a large pet store in Gloucester closed down, instead of giving lovely fish tanks and other animal supplies to schools, nursing homes, prisons or organisations, the staff were instructed to smash everything up.
According to Liliana Segura, it doesn’t stop there. New York City officials destroyed tons of new, unworn clothing and footwear last year that had been seized in raids on counterfeit label operations , abandoning a practice of giving knockoff garments to groups that help the needy.
Hopefully you’re aghast at reading about such waste and greed; couple that with the fact that households in the UK ditch almost 1 million tonnes of clothing into the landfill every year and the reality of ‘disposable’ fashion can be quite depressing.
So now let’s switch to the positive – what can you do when you no longer love that item in your wardrobe you just had to have a few months ago?
Gabrielle, who writes for the children’s Newspaper “first news” and runs her own blog “The green Gal” wrote a great guest post for us back in October called “Don’t waste your wardrobe“. In it she covered some ideas for getting more from your clothes and you shared your suggestions too. Let’s recap and add a few more!
Donate to charity
I have heard horror stories about Charity shops dumping clothes too, but according to the Association of Charity shops, only 4% of donated clothes ends up in landfill. At least give your clothes a chance to be sold to someone who will love them whilst benefiting charity at the same time.
Make some money
Many people spend a happy hour making some spare money through eBay by selling their old clothes. If you have decent labels and the clothes are in good condition, why not have a go?
Let someone else make money
Find your local jumble sale and donate your clothing. Someone will be happy with your cast offs!
If you feel like a great night in with a difference, why not organise a swishing party with friends? You all bring along your unwanted clothes and have a swapping frenzy. If, like me, your a different size to all your friends, then sign up for Swop2shop – you can list your clothing for points instead of pounds and use those points to get new items. Unlike listing on eBay; listing on Swop2shop is free AND they have FREEPOST bags, for a limited time, so you have nothing to lose!
If you’ve got clothes with marks on or holes in them, pop them in a textiles bank. Here they will be sorted according to the quality of the fabric. Decent items can be unpicked and rewoven into yarn or fabric, while other materials are used as stuffings for furniture or cut into cloths.
If you’re handy with a needle and thread turn your old clothing into something new and lovable. Or follow Grandma’s footsteps and turn your old clothes into cleaning rags.
Fall in love again
Dye your white shirt purple, add some sequins or feathers, put a smiley patch on your knee – maybe you could rekindle your passion if you’ve got bored with your wardrobe.
Recycle your jeans into sandals
Yes really! If your favourite pair of jeans have holes in the knees and you can’t bear to part with them, Recycle your Jeans will turn them into a pair of funky sandals.
What about you? How do you reuse or recycle clothes you no longer wear?