Column: What Ought to You Do With Previous Garments?

Column: What Ought to You Do With Previous Garments?

[Column written by Bermuda Is Love] Bermuda Is Love has launched a marketing campaign titled

[Column written by Bermuda Is Love]

Bermuda Is Love has launched a marketing campaign titled #NoNewClothes the place we’re difficult the general public to buy #NoNewClothes for the month of September. As a part of the marketing campaign, we’re publishing weekly articles in Bernews highlighting the issue of quick trend and what we as shoppers can do about it. Please learn our third article titled ‘What do you have to do along with your previous garments?’ and take the #NoNewClothes pledge for September.

The issue of quick trend

World urge for food for brand spanking new clothes has expanded quickly over the previous twenty years as garments have turn out to be cheaper, extra plentiful, and simpler than ever to purchase than ever largely because of the unfold of quick trend and on-line purchasing. This has prompted textile waste to extend to 11.3 million tons in 2018, up from 1.7 million tons in 1960.

Because of this improve in manufacturing and consumption, the style business now produces an estimated 10% of worldwide greenhouse gasoline emissions and 20% of the world’s wastewater and likewise exploits garment employees within the World South. Made worse, there’s merely no simple, common steerage for probably the most sustainable, moral, or hassle-free method to get rid of all of the clothes that the style business quickly produces. On this article, we are going to look at two options to the issue of what to do with clothes that you don’t want to put on anymore, together with choices of donating and recycling your previous clothes.

Column: What Ought to You Do With Previous Garments?

The advantages of donating your garments

The standard method to get rid of undesirable clothes, with out throwing them away, is to donate them to charitable organisations, thrift retailers, or consignment shops. The aim of donating clothes is to forestall clothes from ending up in a landfill or another waste facility. By donating your clothes, you assist to increase the life span of clothes, cut back your carbon footprint, and forestall additional CO2 emissions.

Additional, you’re additionally giving to a charity or non-profit that can give your garments to somebody in want. On this regard, there’s the underlying perception that one man’s trash is one other man’s treasure, insofar as, another person will be capable to use the garments that you don’t want anymore and add worth to them. There may be now a plethora of secondhand shops, thrift retailers, and charities that welcome donated clothes. In truth, secondhand clothes and thrifting generally is now thought-about a well-liked new pattern.

The issue of donating your garments

Problematically, nonetheless, thrift shops and charities obtain much more clothes donations than they might ever hope to promote. About 80% of all of the clothes donated to charities and thrift shops is just not bought. Right here lies the issue: the style business churns out far too many garments that may ever be hoped to be all worn, purchased, or bought. There are merely not sufficient consumers or individuals for all the new clothes produced yearly, not to mention for all the undesirable issues already in individuals’s closets. And far of what’s donated is just not fascinating.

Thus, the burden of what to do with undesirable garments usually will get pushed from particular person shoppers to charitable shops. Many charities and thrift shops find yourself both promoting their undesirable clothes for rags, delivery them to international locations within the World South, comparable to Ghana, or just throwing them away into landfills or different waste services.

Complicatedly, international locations that settle for massive quantities of secondhand textile imports from the U.S. and UK now have monumental textile-waste issues of their very own. For instance, in Ghana, which is without doubt one of the largest importers of secondhand clothes, landfill websites at the moment are overloaded with clothes particles. In certainly one of such websites methane has exploded creating a fireplace fuelled by smouldering garments and poisonous gasoline that has been continually burning.

Giving on to people

One partial answer to the issue of the worldwide secondhand clothes commerce is to present and/or commerce your garments instantly with family and friends members. This may make sure that your garments go to individuals who really needs them and can put on them. Another choice is to promote your garments on clothing-specific digital markets comparable to Poshmark, Depop, and thredUP. Generalized resale platforms like eBay, Fb Market, and Mercari are additionally full of garments.

Nonetheless, whereas donating on to people is preferable to donating to secondhand shops and charities, it’s pointless in case you are repeatedly shopping for new garments and chasing new tendencies. Furthermore, even when everybody traded their garments with their members of the family and bought their garments on-line on to people, somebody will all the time need to resolve what to do with the previous clothes as soon as it reaches the tip of its lifespan; and a choice will all the time need to be made for clothes that nobody needs.

The good thing about recycling your garments

One answer to this downside, of what to do with clothes on the finish of its lifespan, is to recycle it. Recycling garments saves power by decreasing or eliminating the necessity to make supplies from scratch. Within the best-case state of affairs, clothes will be chopped up finely with a purpose to be re-spun into thread and made into new textiles, normally along side virgin supplies to enhance the material’s high quality.

Nonetheless, this course of can solely occur if the clothes is made out of pure, pure materials, ideally natural cotton. However, as talked about in a earlier article, cotton is one probably the most water intensive crops which contributes to the style business being liable for 20% of the worlds wastewater. The style business consumes 32 million Olympic-sized swimming swimming pools of water per yr, a lot of which is used to develop cotton. Moreover, clothes made with buttons, zippers, embroidery, blended materials, or display screen printing will be more and more troublesome to recycle.

The issue of recycling your garments

Consequently, the issue with a lot quick trend is that it’s made out of supplies that make recycling ineffective or inconceivable as a result of the labour required to separate out the elements of anybody garment will be too troublesome or too pricey to justify. For instance, a single bra would possibly comprise steel, plastic, nylon, elastane, and polyester all knitted or sewn collectively in tiny structural elements. Undoing that work with a purpose to stuff a number of little bits of material into some throw pillows is solely not cost-effective.

The worst supplies in clothes for recycling and supplies that you could keep away from are polyester [virgin], nylon, cotton [conventional], acrylic, and rayon [viscose].

The very best supplies for recycling and supplies that you should purchase embody recycled [organic] cotton, natural hemp, natural linen, Tencel, and recycled polyester.

Onerous information

When confronted with what to do with secondhand clothes that nobody needs to put on, comparable to clothes that has vital stains or is totally threadbare, or clothes that’s made out of merchandise which might be unable to be recycled, the best choice could also be to easily throw the clothes away, particularly for those who’ve really gotten each little bit of use out of it.

This can imply that the clothes will in all probability go right into a home landfill that complies with a minimum of some environmental rules and can imply that you simply keep away from sending your trash abroad for different individuals to take care of and keep away from actually dumping the issue onto others. Right here in Bermuda, it is going to imply throwing your garments in Tyne’s Bay which has the advantage of turning our waste into power. Nonetheless, this in itself is just not a sustainable approach of disposing our clothes.

When confronted with the issue of quick trend which is designed to revenue from our overconsumption of clothes and our want to remain on high of present tendencies, the very best factor an individual can do is just not be sucked into shopping for or changing clothes that they throw away or donate. This represents the marketing campaign #NoNewClothes. We should be taught to scale back our consumption of clothes within the first place, earlier than we think about donating or recycling.

Scale back

On this regard, step one towards the issue of quick trend is to scale back our consumption habits. We should recognise that our overconsumption hurts the setting and garment employees. Furthermore, there is no such thing as a easy answer to what to do with our previous garments. As quick trend corporations maintain quickly mass-producing massive portions of low-cost, poor-quality garments it’s our accountability as shoppers to cease shopping for from corporations that pollute the world and infringe the human rights of others. By decreasing our consumption, the large quick trend manufacturers should reply by producing much less clothes.


The second step towards the issue of quick trend is to make sure that you get probably the most use out of our clothes as doable. So as to delay the life span of your clothes we suggest washing much less and caring for your clothes to assist it final. As well as, we suggest upcycling: stitching a button, hemming a pair of pants, repairing a ripped seam, or taking a pair of footwear to get re-soled.

Bermuda Is Love can be holding a Refashion/Upcycling Workshop at Michelle Fray Design Studio, 6 Burnaby Avenue [above Spot Restaurant], Hamilton from 10:00am to 1:00pm to show people about how they will upcycle their clothes and prolong the lifespan of their clothes. Solely after satisfying these two classes [reduce and reuse] will we then start to depend on recycling.

We should change our angle in the direction of our clothes

However how does one change their consumption habits and cut back the quantity of garments they purchase? So as to totally change our consumption habits, we should change our relationship with our clothes. The issue of quick trend is that it has created an overabundance of low-cost garments. Clothes is seen in the identical vein as single-use plastics. It’s low-cost and made to be thrown away. The answer, subsequently, is to view clothes as an funding. We should eat garments which might be of higher high quality and sustainable, and subsequently dearer.

Shopping for one thing well-made and repairable over the long run will essentially be dearer than shopping for an inexpensive social gathering costume for one-time use. However, whereas a $215 costume is just not one thing most individuals are possible to purchase on impulse, that’s actually the purpose. Clothes is just not meant to be one thing you put on solely a few times and that’s it. Thus, when you consider your clothes as an funding, you pay just a little extra, and you’re really cautious about what you choose. This is step one in the direction of turning into a acutely aware shopper and altering your consumption habits.


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