How to Create a More Sustainable Closet
Spring is right around the corner and many of us are ready to embark on our annual spring cleaning! This might include clearing out closets as we declutter our homes. There are many reasons why people may reorganize their closets, one of which may be after watching The True Cost of our clothing and fashion industry. Another reason may be to embrace a lifestyle where “less is more”, and maybe you’ll want to adopt a capsule wardrobe to reduce the time it takes to get ready each morning and ensure that the clothes you keep are the ones you cherish and love!
We want to share a few ways you can create a more sustainable closet.
If you’re looking to add clothes to your wardrobe, shop used or secondhand
Fast fashion is one of the biggest polluters today and a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Our society’s addiction to fast fashion puts a strain on the planet and often leaves charities with excess because of the volume of clothes that is donated to them. Instead of buying the latest items in season, consider shopping at thrift stores, buying secondhand, or participating in clothing swaps with your networks. And remember: BYOB. Our Commit to Green nonwoven reusable shopping bags are compact and perfect to bring for any shopping trips.
You can also consider looking for items that are produced with recycled materials or deadstock fabric. Our sustainable gift guide features some brands we love that are incorporating sustainability practices across the board.
Divert your clothes responsibly
If you have done all you can to make the most out of your clothes (repairing, repurposing, upcycling, etc.), you can look up ways you can divert your fabrics and textiles responsibly. In NYC, you can recycle these materials through a clothing drop-off at a GrowNYC site, refashionNYC, or FABSCRAP. For others in the US, you can look at Simple Recycling for free curbside clothing and home goods collection!
Earn a little extra money from the clothes you used to love
Did you know that donating your clothes doesn’t have to be the first option you think of when you no longer love them? There are plenty of websites and mobile apps that help you sell your clothes! Some of our favorite options include Poshmark, Etsy, and Facebook Marketplace! This is a great way you can make a few bucks and keep your once-loved pieces from sitting in landfills or thrift store shelves for indefinite periods of time.
Choose low-waste options for cleaning your clothes
Of all the plastic that has ever been produced, only about 9% has ever been recycled. Think about all of the plastic detergent bottles you may be purchasing for dark and light fabrics, along with fabric softeners, stain removers, etc. What if there was a way you could reduce or even eliminate plastic from your laundry cleaning routine? Brands like Dropps, True Earth, and EC30, and bulk bin shops are offering plastic-free or package-free alternatives to the traditional mainstream brands!
Bonus tip: Much of the clothes that are produced in mass quantities today are created with materials such as nylon, polyester, and acrylic. Did you know this means that the clothes made with these materials contain plastic? You can reduce microplastics fiber shedding during the washing process using Guppyfriend’s washing bag.
Dry your clothes for free by skipping the dryer
Drying clothes without the use of electricity is not a new concept. In the past (and even now) people utilize clotheslines to hang their clothes to dry outside with the power of the sun and wind. For those who don’t have access to clotheslines, it’s possible to dry your clothes indoors using hangers and clothes drying racks.
If you want to learn more about envisioning a world where the textiles economy follows closed loop principles, check out Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s report on A New Textiles Economy.