Sustainable Style: Clearing Out Your Closet's Dead Weight

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It’s no secret that our planet’s changing climate has left many scrambling for ways to make a positive impact. Whether that means participating in the #trashtag challenge, eliminating single-use plastic bags and straws from your daily life, or donating money to your favorite eco-friendly charity, you’d be hard-pressed to find a wrong way to help the cause… unless you just don’t.  

As spring ramps up, your thoughts have inevitably shifted to the great purge—spring-cleaning—and your first target is the dead weight of your wardrobe. We all have items we bought with high hopes, but then let languish, and clothing that bears bad memories of a past life. As Marie Kondo would say, if it doesn’t spark “joy,” don’t keep it; say “thank you” and let it xgo. But as tempting as it may be, resist the urge to just toss those threads in the garbage.

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Discarded clothing is a much bigger problem than you might think. The average American throws away 70 pounds of clothing a year, and according to the Washington State University’s Department of Apparel, more than 13 million tons of textiles go to waste every year, in the United States alone. No doubt, it’s time to reconsider how you discard your threads.

Luckily, practical solutions are already in place to help curb this massive problem. For barely-worn clothes, you can either try to sell them at a consignment store or online on websites like Poshmark. Clothing in good condition can also be donated to thrift stores and non-profit organizations.

For clothing that’s well beyond its glory days, you might think the best place is the trash. Think again: prevent your annual 70 lbs. of clothing from adding to a landfill by taking your raggedy duds to a clothing-recycling center. Many large retailers accept clothing recycling and Earth911 will find recycling locations in your zip code.

And then there are the clothes you can’t bear to part with, even though your significant other has banned you from wearing them. A cool way to breathe new life into your old clothes is by upcycling—using them creatively to make something new. If you’re seeking a truly unique look, upcycling can be your gateway to nirvana. With a few hours on YouTube, you can effectively teach yourself any crafting skill needed to create something fun and new. (Pro-tip: practice and refine your crafting on non-sentimental clothes first). Consider ways to turn your favorites into pillowcases, quilts, stuffed animals, and more. With upcycling, you’re limited only by your creativity.

And once  you've cleared out the dead weight, and have ample room in your closet,  pick a few classics from our spring collection, and step into a fresh new wardrobe.

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StyleJosh Rubin