More than Donating

More than Donating

24 August, 2017
Eco-conscious wardrobe
5 tips on revamping your wardrobe with more than just donating
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Donating is always good ... or is it?

If you have read about Project 333—a movement to declutter, and build your own capsule wardrobe—you may be inspired to downsize your own closet too. While it's easy to treat your local charity as a guilt-free and no-hassle dumpster, it shouldn't be our go-to way to handle unwanted clothes.

If we all just donate what we no longer want without changing our purchasing habits, we are just turning a blind eye to the problem of over-consumption and waste, and shifting our responsibility to others. To lift the burden off charity organisations of the waste problem created by consumers and fashion labels, we should endeavour to produce less waste and support second-hand reusing. Here are five ways to get you started:

1. Repairing

There are three great tricks you can do with just thread and needles: repair, transform, and create. For centuries—before mass-produced fashion came along—people altered and repaired old garments instead of purchasing new pieces. A simple kit and basic sewing skills could help you alter your old, ill-fitting clothes, and it is simpler than you think. Save a nice pair of jeans from premature death by repairing a ripped seam, or take in the waist of that skirt to show off your new figure!

2. Repurposing

Another way to save an old garment from the bin (or the donation box) is to transform it into something entirely new. Is there an eye-catching pattern on the shirt you are planning to throw away? Maybe some exquisite embroidery? You are in for a delightful surprise. Turn these fabrics into one-of-a-kind accessories like headbands, scarves, or even placemats.

3. Creating

Creating more new pieces for your wardrobe may seem to be the last thing you should do. But by filling your wardrobe with things you truly love—things that spend more time on you than at the back of your closet—you are preventing your clothes from going to waste in the long run. With an edge in fit, style and durability, tailored garments would last much longer than cheaply produced pieces. Before you scurry off in horror at the thought of making your own clothes, trust me—it's not as hard as you think. Start with basic patterns like a sleeveless top or a skirt. There are numerous free online patterns at your service. You could even clone your favourite wardrobe pieces. Let your creativity flow!

4. Thrift shopping

Disburdening your local charity from the influx of second-hand clothes, thrifting is the only way to effectively close the loop of the recycling industry. Don’t just let them sort out your clutter for you—help them do it! Though thrift shops and vintage stores may remind you of foul-smelling dresses and dusty coats, in truth most shops adhere to a strict standard of cleanliness and quality, and some even reject fast fashion labels because of their poor fabric quality. If you are worried about the outdated looks, check out how these bloggers give a modern twist to their vintage thrift treasures.

5. Eco-conscious shopping

The most powerful effort we consumers can make in building an eco-conscious wardrobe is to stop supporting wasteful fashion labels. Take the time to research ethical fashion brands, plan your purchase, and invest in quality pieces that would last the years. Whether you are supporting ethical fashion or making your own pieces, take note of eco-friendly and biodegradable fabrics, such as organic cotton or recycled textiles.

Remember, transforming your wardrobe begins not with simply decluttering and revamping, but adopting an eco-conscious mind. Happy thrifting!

By: Nicole Tang
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