Up-cycling: Clothing

Up-cycling: Clothing

Fashion is the second most polluting industry

Did you know most clothing gets worn around five times before it’s discarded? This is thanks to an industry that pushes quick trends and fast, cheap fashion.

Textile waste makes up 5% of our landfills!

While textile recycling programs do exist, they only account for 15% of total waste, leaving 85% in landfills! In fact, the average U.S. citizen tosses 70lbs of clothing and other textiles every year.

Just for the sake of visualization, that’s approximately the weight of a large dog.

Now multiply that large dog by the U.S. population of 326,766,748.

Every.

Single.

Year.

That’s a big pile of dogs! 

While a gigantic dog pile might be adorable fluffy fun, the actual problem is not.

Rotting textiles in landfills create a plethora of toxic, polluting gasses.


Clothing given a second life can reduce yearly landfill gas emissions by up to 73%!

I’m a big fan of secondhand clothing, clothing repair/tailoring to extend life, and repurposing textiles.

I try to shop local secondhand/thrift stores, but online stores like ThreadUp.com (use my referral link to get 10% off your order), Swap.com (referral link to get $10 off your order), or Poshmark.com, are a great way to extend the lives of clothing, too.

Climate change is here, and our contribution to it is finally being recognized! More and more businesses are putting sustainability at the forefront; businesses like The Renewal Workshop repair and resell damaged clothing, and the app Good On You assigns ethical and sustainable ratings to clothing brands.

To be a secondhand shopping pro, check out these great tips over at Going Zero Waste

Another great way to close the circle on fast fashion waste is by buying from clothing companies with recycling programs, like For Days, H&M or Eileen Fisher Renew.


What about clothes that are no longer good enough for resale?

Of course, if you’ve got the sewing skills (or even if you don’t!), you can always repair or repurpose them:


Consciousness is key

No matter what, a consideration for the products we wear and use can go miles in creating a happier, healthier, cleaner planet and a sustainable future!


If you like my ideas for Up-cycling: Clothing, or have some of your own you’d like to share, please leave a comment below, or instagram with the hashtag #makeadlib. Don’t forget to tag @makeadlib!



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