We’re going to be honest here: one of our least favorite chores is cleaning out our closets. No matter how many times we try to lean out our wardrobes to only contain items we love and wear often, we always struggle with deciding what clothes won’t make the cut this season.
Since our fashion philosophy is all about investing in pieces that will last a lifetime, always look amazing, and that you can always love, we think it’s important to force ourselves to ask the tough questions like: are there clothes hanging in the closet that you haven’t worn in more than 6 months? Is your wardrobe so stuffed you can barely find anything in it, let alone add anything new? Do you have that one pair of designer jeans that are just a bit too tight, and have been since you purchased them? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be time for a closet reboot. If you need any help in this area, check out this great Life Hacker article, How Do I Get Rid of Clothes Clutter?
No one likes going through this process, but what can really stump you is figuring out what to do with these clothes after you finish piling them up on your bed. With the amount of resources that goes into producing the clothing we wear, it is incredibly important that they do not end up in the trash. If you don’t already know the environmental impact your clothing choices can have on the world around you, be sure to read our article, Eco-Friendly Fashion: A 360 View.
When we stop to consider how many resources it takes to make each item in our closets, it seems downright wasteful to not recycling.
4 great reasons for recycling are:
- You reduce the number of resources used to produce more clothing to replace the items discarded. If everyone recycled their items rather than threw them out, there would be less of a need to mass-produce cheap items.
- You do not add to the issue of excess trash accumulating in landfills.
- You can help others by providing those who are less fortunate with free or affordable clothing options.
- It’s economically smart: if your clothes are in good enough condition, you can sell them and use that money elsewhere in your life.
So now that you are experts in why you should recycle your clothing, let’s consider the different options available. Depending on the state of your clothing, there are lots of alternatives out there to recycle your clothing. Here are just a few of the best ones:
- Donate them
If your clothes are still wearable, but you are not in love with them or they are a bit older, we recommend donating them. There are plenty of services that are more than happy to come to your home and pick up your bag of donations, so there really isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t donate, even if you don’t have the time to bring it to Goodwill yourself.
- Sell them
Typically when you think about selling your belongings, you most likely think either eBay or Craigslist. However, there are a lot of great companies out there that are helping you to resell your unwanted items that are still in great condition but that you do not wear anymore. Depending on the brand and what condition your clothing is in, you can choose from a variety of different platforms to sell your clothing. Brit+Co shares a few solid options in their article, 7 Websites to Sell Your Clothes for Cash. We love it because it also shares with you the amount of involvement needed for you to accomplish your selling goals based on each website.
We personally have tried a few of these, and we highly recommend ThredUp if you are looking for a convenient way to clean out your closet. Simply by signing up, they send you a large (and cute) bag in the mail to fill up with the items you want to sell. You then send back the filled bag, and they go through the items for you. Whatever they can resell, they pay you for, and whatever they can’t gets donated to charity. They also will send you the items they cannot sell back if you ask them. We love this service because it is super convenient, can help you earn a little extra cash, and still helps others. You can choose to get the money through Paypal, or receive store credit to shop thousands of different styles on their site. What more could you ask for?!
- Swap them
Although it takes a bit more planning and preparation, clothing swap parties can be a very unique and fun way to restart your style. Simply ask your friends to clean out their closets and bring any items that are still in great condition, but that they don’t want to keep anymore. You then all explore each other’s items, and take home what you love. If you ever have envied your friends’ wardrobes, this might be the best option for you! We love it because it allows you to save time, energy, money, and resources that would be spent finding new items, while still getting rid of any items that you don’t wear from your own wardrobes. For more in-depth guidelines, read Get Rich Slowly’s blog post, Dress Yourself for Free: How to Host a Clothing Swap.
As painful a process as cleaning out your closet can be, the positive effects it can have on your own life and the world around you is amazing. From providing clothing for those less fortunate, to helping someone else re-energize their own style, there are so many reasons to find every opportunity to recycle your clothing. And, just like the feeling of endless possibilities and new beginnings you feel at the start of each new year, recycling your clothing can help you to reinvent your own personal style and identity.