New Year - New Closet: Sustainable Tips on how to clear out, and renew for 2023. - Paige Taylor January 18, 2023
New Years resolutions tend to revolve around this idea of cleansing our habits and changing lifestyle choices to fit healthier personal goals. Many opt for the new year as an opportunity to clean out their homes and donate old clothes, housewear, etc., and the unfortunate reality is, these choices don't tend to lead to future sustainable decisions. On average, Canadians individually throw away around 81 pounds of textiles every year (Whale, 2021). Not only is throwing away old clothes a massive contributor to already-overwhelmed landfills (Canadians average 10 million tonnes of clothes to landfills each year) (Whale, 2021), the majority of us will just head to the malls in a few months and refill the closet with more clothes that'll we'll just end up throwing away next January.
This isn't to say that you can't clean out your closets. Holding onto pieces of clothing that you maybe haven't worn in years isn't necessarily the answer to this issue. There are steps that you can personally take to try to make sure your clothes don't end up in the landfill. While large-scale companies are absolutely to blame for the majority of the fashion industry's effects on the environment, there are individual-level changes that we can all make to live a little bit more sustainably and it can easily start in the closet.
Learning how to sew and fix holes is one of the most sustainable skills you can have. There are several tailors in the city as well who can also do small repairs. The most sustainable piece of clothing is one that's already in your closet. Get creative with it!
Selina Sanders is an amazing brand that upcycles old tea towels and table runners into gorgeous pieces. A great brand for inspiration!
If you have a habit of throwing away your old clothes because there's a small stain or you've decided that it's simply unwearable, donate it! Upcycling is more popular than ever, and someone who upcycles can take something with a stain and turn the rest of it into something beautiful. There are even programs at companies such as Goodwill that will sort, shred, and recycle old unsold textiles and turn it into rags, stuffing, bags, etc. Our store donates select unsold items to Mission Services, who works closely with My Sister's Place where women will make old jewellery and upcycle it into something new and sell it.
You might want a closet refresh now that you've donated some of your clothes. Learning how to shop secondhand is the perfect way to get your retail therapy fix while avoiding those unethical, unsustainable fast fashion brands. Not only that, but you'll save so much money. At Style 360, we sell like-new, sometimes new with tags pieces for a fraction of the retail price. You can also find so many more unique, beautiful, quality pieces shopping secondhand. There are so many thrift stores, consignment shops, antique malls, etc. It's also never been easier to shop secondhand online, with so many secondhand shops creating an e-commerce site and apps.
Less is always more.
Focusing on purchases that are quality over quantity is the best way to avoid a constant cycle of donating and buying new. If you buy clothes that will last, you can avoid the need for repair. Investing in beautiful classics, you'll keep pieces in your closet for years. Ask yourself before buying: "Will I want this in five years?" and if that's too much, "Will I want this next year?".
- Paige Taylor