Spring is a wonderful time to clean out cluttered draws, re-design a room, or re-organize the contents of a cupboard. But what about a wardrobe detox? It can be a great way to be thoughtful about fashion items that you really appreciate, as well as identifying clothes that perhaps someone else may enjoy as something ‘new’ in their wardrobe. We believe the concept of ethical fashion is also about how you wear, care, share, and dispose of fashion items, not only what you buy.
Here are a few ideas on how to approach a thoughtful refresh and detox of your wardrobe that is conscious of social and environmental impact, while also getting you ready for summer. It centers around creating different categories that can help you to mindfully sift and sort each item.
1. Keep The first pile is easy. These are items that you can not live without. They bring you joy. You wear them frequently and they are in good condition. In spring, this may include robust winter items that can be packed away ready for the colder months.
2. Mend These are clothes that you still love and want to keep, but need a little TLC. Keeping items ‘wearable’ for as long as possible maximizes the resources that have gone into producing those items while reducing the need to buy a new item. Take your pile of items to a tailor or mend them yourself.
3. Swap This is a fun one and can make letting go of some clothes easier. For example - you really love a pair of shorts that you have, but you don’t wear them very often. Giving them to someone else who will love and wear them can be a happy way to see them have a good second life. Organizing a clothes swap party with friends is also a fun way to socialize while being fashion-conscious (when its safe again to gather in a group).
4. Up-cycle Do you still like the fabric or pattern on some items, but they don’t fit anymore? Maybe some retro pieces that are on their last legs. Perhaps the fabric would make a nice cushion, patchwork quilt or pillowcase. Use your imagination. A crafty afternoon of up-cycling can transform loved items into new and beautiful creations.
5. Sell If you have some clothes that are of high quality, and still in good condition, you may consider selling them online or at a local market. These days, selling second-hand clothes while making a few pounds on the side is easy and saves good items going to waste.
6. Donate A charity or secondhand shop will no doubt happily accept your clothes and sell them for a good cause. Many communities rely on reasonably priced second-hand cloth items, so this can be a great way to be fashion conscious while supporting the local community.
7. Recycle Some fashion outlets provide ways for the public to drop-off second-hand clothes. These items will then be recycled into the next collection. They may even offer a small payment for each bag of recycled materials. This is preferable to dumping clothes in the bin, where they will no doubt end up in a landfill.
Happy wardrobe detox!
It will feel great to help the health of people and the planet while giving your wardrobe a mindful refresh - just in time for summer.