I have been seeing studies of how full our landfills are with clothing, and frankly it is very depressing. Clothing in our landfills is an issue that I don’t think about but maybe I should. Maybe we all should. My favorite quote from Gandhi is “be the change you wish to see in the world.” So, if I want to see less clothing in landfills, I need to look at my own actions to see what I can change.
First up is starting to mend clothing that is torn or ripped. Right now, I have a sweater on my bench that needs to be mended. It has had a hole in it for about two years. It is my favorite sweater. It is so much my favorite sweater that I ordered another one. Looking back, I should have taken the time to repair it rather than purchased a duplicate.
Think about learning the steps of clothing repair. A friend of mine is investing in real estate in Florida and she darns her own socks. She has learned to live frugally while being incredibly smart at the same time. Makes me want to learn to darn my own socks!
Second, don’t purchase because of a sale. Too often clothing finds its way into my closet because I found a “good deal!” A sale is no reason to buy something.
Next, be happy with what you have. My youngest son is using my gloves that I no longer use. I thought to myself that he should have his own gloves. But then I paused and thought, he really doesn’t care that the gloves were mine so why should I care?
Think about buying second hand clothing. Most thrift stores and consignment shops are filled to the brim with clothing. Some of these clothes still have the tags on them. I know this is true as I work with clients sorting their clothing and we take bags full of brand new clothing to be donated or consigned.
Please note that it is important to get the clothing that you are not wearing out of your closet as quickly as possible. Styles and fashions change and if you use consignment stores to sell your gently used clothing you will want them to be current fashion. Nobody wants that work blazer with lace and shoulder pads. Oh wait, I heard the next fashion trend is the ‘80’s and those might be worn again. Just kidding, don’t hang onto clothing just because it may come back in style. If the clothes do not bring you joy remove them now from your closet.
And the flip side is to consider buying quality clothing that lasts for many years and that you can wear repeatedly. I buy quality jeans that I wear until I wear them out, usually years. I have my one pair and I wear them several times a week, nobody notices.
I believe it is up to all of us to lessen the flow of clothing in our landfills. By taking some simple steps now we can all slow that down. Be smart with clothing clutter and make sure that you are not part of the problem but rather part of the solution.
To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,
Melissa’s e-book on Kitchen Organizing can be found on Amazon.