Get your spring cleaning on: 8 tips for a sustainable wardrobe

While spring has not quite sprung just yet – we’re getting ready! With spring cleaning coming up around the corner, it may be time to start thinking about revisiting your wardrobe to make room for new trends or dusting off the pieces that you forgot you had. 

In lieu of the latest Netflix specials and pop culture trends around minimalism, we’re excited to get started on our own sustainable spring cleaning, too! 

From significantly reducing your water usage (Did you know that it takes 2,700 litres of water to produce one cotton shirt?) to reducing your personal greenhouse gas emissions, keeping the planet in mind when cleaning out your closet this spring has never been easier!

Here are 8 tips & tricks for a successful sustainable wardrobe spring cleaning: 

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Declutter (and destress while you’re at it):

An incredibly popular trend for good reason, revisiting & purging unwanted items from your posession can not only help you to organize your space, but can also evoke a sense of relief. Clean AND stress-free? Sign us up!  

Inspired by the ‘trendy’ sustainable minimalist lifestyle, many people are rushing to reclutter their wardobes. Before you grab your trash & recycing bags to get started, it’s not just about tossing what you simply don’t want or like anymore, it’s about revisiting your shopping habits, too. Fashion sustainability is about mindfullness surrounding production and consumption. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind as you begin to refresh your wardrobe:

1. Friends & Family 

Before tossing that pair of jeans you only wore once or those boots with the tags still attached, do you have any family or friends who have had their eye on these items, too? Not only will this prolong the life of your clothing items by giving them to your loved ones, but you’ll know that they went to someone you know who will take care of them!

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2. Cash back

While it can seem daunting to go through your wardrobe and reflect on the money you spent on items that you may not appreciate anymore (Your style changes – we get it!), there are a number of online and in-person retail providers that allow you to sell your goods. Keeping in mind that retailers will often have expectations for the quality or condition of the clothing you’d like to make some money from, if you have pieces that have only been worn a handful of times (or maybe not at all), there’s a good chance you can sell them. Not to mention that you’ll also be giving your clothing a second life to someone who still loves that sweater or coat you haven’t worn in ages! 

3. Donation

With an endless array of clothing donation options across the country and world, if you don’t know of anyone in your social circles who want to take some of your excess clothing off your hands, it’s always a great idea to give back to those in need. From in-person donation boxes, in-store drop-offs, and even pick-up options, there’s are a variety of donation options to pick from.

Give your neighborhood a Google!

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4. Reduce, reuse, and recycle

Do you have clothing that has some wear and tear you can’t donate or sell back? 

It’s always a great idea to recycle these worn clothing to textiles that will properly dispose of your (well loved) goods. It’s as easy as searching for “Clothing Donation Bins” online! 

5. Upcycling

Through crafty DIY projects, you can give your unwanted clothing and accessories a whole new look! From creating a new set of kitchen rags, to t-shirts turned pillow cases, to laptop sleeves, produce bags, and more, the possibilities are endless. Pinterest has some great ideas (Yes, we’ve already looked into some of their boards for inspiration, too…). 

“Freshen up” look good, feel good: Cleaning up your wardrobe

When it comes to renewing your wardrobe, you should be aware that a closet makeover comes at an environmental cost. Fast fashion companies have a tremendous impact on the environment: producing cheaper, low-quality clothes meant to be replaced regularly. Their frequent collections compel consumers to continuously buy more in order to keep up with trends. 

To avoid impulse purchases, make a list of what you really need, and try to stick to those items. Knowing your style also helps you avoid trends that don’t suit your personality, lifestyle, or body type. Here are a few ways to ditch fast fashion for sustainable (and durable) wardobe pieces: 

6. Secondhand

One of the most sustainable ways to shop is through second hand stores and providers. Thrift stores and online stores are a good way to avoid fast-fashion by investing in pieces that have some personality to them – not to mention do away with production costs and impacts. 

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7. Sustainable stores & retail providers

Supporting environmentally-friendly stores is a great option. Due to higher production expenses, clothing from ethically-sourced locations are often more costly, but you can also rest assured knowing that your new garment came from a sustainable source. From more environmentally-friendly materials to sources, these stores have a clear understanding of where and how their products are made. 

A few popular ethically-sourced, fair trade companies (including Everlane, pictured left) can be found here.

8. Clothing swaps

Swapping with friends allows you to refresh your wardrobe in a sustainable way, without spending any money. Get some friends together and look through each other’s unwanted clothes. Or, this is also a great way to see if your friend is finally getting rid of that sweater of theirs that you love (that they haven’t worn a long time…). You’ll likely get rid of some unwanted clothing in a waste-free way while spending time your friends!

Shop rePurpose: Apparel that’s adventured.

There’s a story behind every piece, whether it’s traveling from 1980’s Spain, supporting local communities, or including custom designs by our GREEN Program team. 

“rePurpose.” apparel was carefully sourced from vintage & second hand apparel shops, military surplus, organic cottons, and local initiatives that support job training programs and career services that help prepare individuals with disabilities and disadvantages for competitive employment.

Learn more and #FindYourStory

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