April 18, 2016
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Most of us have been in the situation at a clothing store where something is on sale for pretty cheap. We might not even like the garment that much but we buy it anyway. Why? Well how could you pass on something so cheap? So then we take it home. Wear it once, twice maybe, and then it falls somewhere in the back of the closet. Finally we clean out our closet months or years later and this very garment finds its way to a garbage or donation bin. This is a very unsustainable cycle that many of us have found ourselves stuck in. Cheap (and trendy) clothes have made their way onto the racks of many stores like H&M, Forever 21, and Wet Seal. We rationalize our purchases by saying that even if we wear it once, it’s still a good buy. This may seem better for our wallets but it is proving detrimental to the environment.
In America alone 10.5 million tons of clothing find their way into landfills every year. We are buying and discarding more and more. This problem can be easily avoided by following a few simple steps:
- Only buy stuff that you are definitely going to wear: That unwanted garment isn’t worth its weight in waste later.
- Don’t throw any clothes in the trash: It’s much better to donate your clothes so someone could get some use out of them. The Salvation Army and plenty of local thrift stores take donations.
- Don’t skimp on the staple pieces: There are some things that just never go out of style like a nice black dress or a good pair of jeans. You will always need these in your closet and so buying something that will last a long time is the way to go. Though these things might be expensive, you’re better off buying it once and having it last.
- Go thrifting: Buying used clothes can be a really cheap way to fill your wardrobe. Just because they are cheap though doesn’t mean that you should avoid rule #1. Every thrift store shirt you buy will be another that doesn’t have to be made today. Not to mention that you can find a lot of cool vintage stuff.
- Wash your clothes according to their instructions: This may seem obvious but we have all shrunk our favorite shirt or bleached something we didn’t mean too. Try and be aware so that your things last longer.
- Bring your clothes to your local H&M: Since it just so happens to be World Recycle Week, you can take advantage of this very special offer by H&M. If you bring your unwanted clothes to any of their stores starting on April 18th tentatively ending on the 24th, you will receive a store voucher in return! They will then take your clothes and either donate them to second-hand stores, reuse them as cleaning cloths, or recycle them into brand new garments. Check out this video to see the whole process explained: http://about.hm.com/en/ImageGallery/asset-detail-page.html/videos/CSR/HM_Garment_Collecting.mov.html