Saturday, 10 May 2014

How to 'Throw Away' Your Clothes without the Trash Can

Hey, guys! Do you remember this post? Well, since I've been trying to be more ethical and conscientious about my fashion choices, there are some things that I find very essential in making the world a better place. Fashion-wise, it is not only how you obtain your items that is important but also how you deal with it. What you do with your items once you don't feel like wearing them anymore is also essential - because it happens even to the best of us. 

When I was back home in Indonesia, I wasn't even the least bit stylish. So I tend to wear out my clothes and, when they don't fit me so well anymore or already too shattered to be called clothes. I threw them out. Depending on the condition of the clothes, they would sometimes go to charity - because Godknows a lot of our citizens need that. Since I came to Germany and became more fashionably able, I became more choosy about the clothes I wear and started throwing away some of the clothes which no longer suited my style. There are obviously various ways to do that and how, none of which includes the trash can.

In Good Condition

I'm a true believer of "one man's trash is another man's treasure." This is so true for two reasons. One, my friend once just gave me away something she didn't like wearing and I (along with several other friends) find it absolutely gorgeous - though my posture might also have something to do with it. Two, it surprises me every time that the items I find the least attractive in my closet store are the first ones to go. Crazy, right? But it's true. People have various tastes and yours might not be the same as someone else's. Don't let your clothes go to waste. If it's still in top-notch condition, try selling it. There are several ways to do this, especially since the invention of the internet. You can open an online closet store (using websites or Facebook or Instagram) or attend the next flea market. Not only do you get to detox your closet, you will also be making a little bit of income. Or, if it's a custom in your area, try opening a garage sale. Maybe, not only do you get to get rid of those hideous clothing items, you can also get rid of some unused stuff at home.

Most of the time, the only reason you want to sell perfectly wearable pieces is because you need to make room for more clothes you're going to buy. Well, why don't you try swapping them instead? You get to have something new and the space you need is already there. I mean, don't you sometimes look at your friend and wish that you have what she's wearing? Maybe you can have it once she no longer wants it and give her something you want to throw out in exchange. If no friend is willing to do it with you, there are various other ways to do it. There are now swapping websites online, such as Swapdom for Americans and Kleider Kreisel for Germans and Austrians. Or just host a huge outfit-swapping party, invite your friends and ask them to bring more people in. Last year, my uni made such an event and it was a blast! I've got some pretty awesome items in the end and it didn't cost me a thing. Also, you can do both permanent and temporary swaps, depending on how you want it. Or, you know, just hand it down to your friends or family because you love them so much.

First thing's first: don't ever donate something inadequate to the goodwill. If the item cannot serve as a clothing item anymore, don't donate it. Even those less fortunate people need our compassion and respect. It's one of the first things we learnt back in Grade School. Back home, in Indonesia, we don't have giant boxes where people can just throw in their clothes and shoes and they will later be taken to people in need or sold to make money for the less fortunate. We have to actually take the clothes ourselves to the orphanage, nursing homes or evacuation post of our choice - well, when it comes to the evacuation post, there are usually volunteers to deliver it to the destination. Because we take these things there ourselves, we get to see the faces of the people we help. Knowing that these things go to actual humans like you and me, it makes it that much easier to respect them.

In Lesser Condition

Although the DIY shirt pictured above wasn't made out of an old, ragged item, sometimes clothes that are already far too damaged to be worn can be a good fabric material for DIYs. If you have a really cute dress with a huge hole in the middle - not because of its style but because it was damaged -, you can create something to cover the hole and make it a whole other, more beautiful dress. Or if you have a shirt or sweater you're no longer wearing because its colour faded or ripping at the seams, you can use the fabric to create something else entirely. This and this really adorable and simple DIY from A Beautiful Mess are worth trying out. I personally want to try them out but don't have any sweaters old enough for them. The best part about DIY is, it's so unique and sentimental, especially as a gift. For good DIY websites that I like, you can see here.

Let's call this plan your Hail Mary. If all else fails, there's always the option of turning the cloth into a rag. Instead of buying napkins left and right, you can just use old clothes that are already way too torn up to make sense into a rag and use it to wipe whatever needs wiping - preferably not your baby, though. This is how we've always done it back home. My house is practically filled with rags from old shirts of when I was a kid. And we're not the only family who does this. Not only does it save money, it also lessens our waste and can really come in handy when we need something quick. When it all comes down to it, what does it matter whether the rag is new or old, it's going to be dirty in the end anyway. If you don't want people to know you're using old shirts as rags - though I don't understand why - you can always sew them up to look like napkins. That way, no one has to know.

That's all I've got. If anyone has anymore tips to share, please don't be shy to leave a comment below. We're all here to help each other out. I find it such a shame that most people stick to the world of 'fast fashion,' purchasing and discarding clothes only a little bit slower than food. Didn't clothes use to be so indispensable? Didn't clothes use to last longer because the creators took the time to deal with every little detail for a greater quality? Why this now, then? Are we not worth all the trouble anymore? Since when was it anyway that the idea of there having to be mass produced items in 2-4 varying seasons per year becomes the general rule to fashion? Too many questions and not enough answers. In the mean time, let us not waste the effort of those least-appreciated workers in third world countries by disposing of their hard work so easily!

Follow on Bloglovin

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your kind comment. Please do stop by again soon!