And the best dressed award goes to… UK landfills!
With summer in full-swing, now is a great time to take stock of your clothes, get your wardrobe ready for your holidays and perhaps even say a fond farewell to some.
Every year we throw away £140m worth of clothing, which weighs around 350,000 tonnes, but your once loved clothes can still live a long, happy life without needing to go in the bin – because if they do they’re just going to head for landfill site to sit around and slowly rot down.
If you no longer wear something because you don’t want to or there’s a hole that can’t be repaired you still have lots of options! So instead of just binning those old tired threads, here’s a guide for the best way to go about re-vamping your wardrobe. Now let’s win back that best dressed award from the landfill site!
- Start with an inventory of your old clothes, jewellery, shoes, etc. Empty everything onto your bed and sort into four separate piles: still wear it, doesn’t fit anymore, can’t bear to throw it out and never going to wear it again. At this stage it helps to make a cup of tea.
- For the ‘still wear it’ pile put clothes back onto hangers, fold neatly and tidy away. Keeping things neat helps clothes look better for longer.
- It can be tempting to save clothes that don’t fit anymore, there’s always the thought that maybe one day you’ll fit back in to it but you’re left storing something that’s taking up valuable space in your wardrobe. Why not bring these items to a Swishing event (clothes swap) to find something that fits just right? If you don’t fancy that, you could sell them online or donate them to a charity so they can raise money for your favourite cause.
- We’ve all had clothes we can’t bear to part with. A perfectly broken in pair of denim jeans, a hand-knit sweater, cherished items that bring back fond memories. If you no longer wear these items, make sure they are cleaned, dried and wrapped carefully. Then store them in a box away from your wardrobe to give you extra space. If you don’t have the space to store them give it to a charity you feel strongly about, knowing you’ve done a good thing and that someone else will put it to good use.
- What to do with the’ never going to wear it again’ pile? A recent WRAP report showed that nearly half (48%) of people surveyed put at least some of their clothes in the bin as rubbish. If there are items in your wardrobe that you simply don’t like and don’t want taking up space in your closet – there’s probably someone else out there who would love it, a friend or relative perhaps. Or maybe a friend would be prepared to swap it for that gorgeous top you’ve spied in their wardrobe? Well, if you don’t ask, you’ll never find out! You could also bring them along to a Swishing event to swap for something you love.
- Another idea is to take a photo of it on your smartphone and instantly upload it to one of the many online selling sites. Kerching! If you would rather just get rid of it, how about donating it to a worthy cause of your choice or to a charity, local authority or other recognised clothing collection?
- For items that are past their best such as worn out, stained or ripped clothes they can still live on in other guises. Old pants, bobbly jumpers, threadbare socks, you name it, they can all be recycled. By shredding the clothes the fibres can be turned into speakers and industrial rags. Most charity shops can get money for clothing that’s not fit to wear – just put them in a bag, label it as rags and donate. If you want something closer to home visit www.loveyourclothes.org.uk to find more about doorstep clothing collections and clothing banks near you.
Now that your wardrobe’s cleared, get outside to celebrate summer! It won’t be long before you’ll have to unpack those thick sweaters into your newly found closet space.
Keep your eyes on our events diary for upcoming nearly-new sales, swaps and swishes where you can turn your old clothes in for something you’ll love.