Is it Time to Let your “Unwanteds “ Go?
Closet Inventory Update
By: Treva Graves, M.A. CCC-SLP Image Coach & Personal Brand Strategist
I admit it. I have a lot of clothes. With years of practicing what I preach - strategic personal style and image management, and growing a wardrobe of garments and accessories that mix and match to create many looks, I realized I had “bulging closet” syndrome. A few years ago, it was time to stop and audit my own garments and wardrobe. Using the same techniques I utilize with my clients, I thought through what I actually need weekly and monthly in my closet and dresser drawers.
Fortunately, by only buying perfect pieces that fit with my defined personal style, I had no garments staring at me saying, “Why did you buy me?” Over time, however, some of my favorites had become tired and worn. But as I sorted out items no longer in style and those ready for a new life, I asked myself, “What do I do with ALL these things that aren’t going back into my closet?!”
What to Do?
In 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 11.1 million tons of clothes, shoes and other household textiles were thrown out each year. And this amount keeps going up. 2016 statistics showed that Americans threw away 13 million tons of textiles! About 85% of our clothes are going to landfills.
This doesn’t have to happen. More options are available these days for moving your unwanted garments on to their next life. Here are some for you to consider.
• Re-Wear – Clothing that can be worn again can be sold as secondhand clothes. Options include consignment shops, buy and sell stores like Style Encore or shops that support a specific organization (e.g., the Discovery Shop, which supports the American Cancer Society). For garments and accessories at least 20 years old, options include vintage clothing houses. Many now consider designer pieces to be vintage if they are 10 years or older.
• Reuse – Old clothes and textiles can be turned into other products, such as cleaning cloths and quilts. Kids can use them for craft projects.
• Recycle – Everything else can be turned into textile fibers and used for things like insulation. Companies like H&M Group believe fashion is far too precious to end up in landfills. Regardless of brand or condition, you’ll find their garment collecting initiative worldwide.
First, stop and make a plan. Look through everything, including shoes and accessories. What do you actually need and wear as the seasons go by?
Do Your Bit for Planet Earth
You can help reduce those 85% 13 million tons statistics. When it’s time to do your own wardrobe audit…
• Decide what you’re going to do with each item that’s unwanted. Will you Re-Wear, Reuse or Recycle it?
• Next, take a little time to research and understand ultimately whose hands the donated items will land in or who gains from the profits generated by the sales the donation creates. There are many great non-profit organizations, consignment retailers and for-profit recyclers. A little research will help you choose the option that’s right for you.
• Finally, get the items you aren’t going to reuse out of your home right away. Don’t let your “unwanted pile” sit somewhere gathering dust!
Use these sustainable suggestions to repurpose or recycle your previous treasures. Not up to purging and repurposing your own wardrobe? Contact Treva @firstname.lastname@example.org to help you revitalize your wardrobe by carefully curating what you keep and what you let go of.