Clothes, Clothes, Clothes
I think we all went through that phase that when we first got a bit of money in our pockets and splurged a bit... or a lot... on clothes. Whether your addiction was to bags, shoes, watches or anything that had the slightest resemblance to what featured in Vogue that month, we all went through a shopaholic phase at one point.
Unfortunately in my case so many of the clothes that I bought are completely out of sync with my style now, in other words completely useless.
In my attempt to do what's right, plus the added guilt of the fact that I used to be such a fast fashion fiend, I have refused to just throw these clothes away, which means that a huge bagful of clothes and shoes has now taken up permanent residence in a dark corner of my bedroom.
So, what's a girl (or guy) to do? Well, throwing away clothes is a big no-no whilst it may be a quick 'out of mind out of sight' solution, your old clothes will end up in land releasing all sorts of nasties into the air as they decompose.
Option two which on the surface seems like the better option, until I read this article, is to donate your old clothes to charity. Pop them in a bag, drop them off at an Oxfam and feel good that your clothes may now become a treasured piece in someone else's wardrobe, right? Well, WRONG!!... Sort of... although charity stores do massively reduce the burden of unwanted clothes on the environment, the clothes that don't sell still contribute towards landfill. In the U.S. unwanted clothes from from donation stores contribute to the 12 million tonnes of U.S. textile waste that ends up in landfill each year. In addition to that, any clothes that aren't sold domestically are sold overseas at veeery low prices which contributes to our cheap, fast fashion problem so back to square one.
After binging on the entire #GIRLBOSS series on Netflix last month, I may first port of call was eBay.
I decided to get off my bum and do tackle my growing pile of clothes guilt and make some money whilst doing it, even if my style is nowhere near as definitive as Sophia's.
But something about eBay now makes it sometimes feels like people expect to get things for as cheap as chips, and if they don't your clothes just remain in the discarded clothes limbo for many auctions to come. So, what are the alternatives...
1. Sell your clothes on Instagram or Depop
Social media, especially Instagram, is insanely popular and provides a great platform to get your voice heard or in this case to sell items online. I started following @naninvintage a few months ago because I loved her style, at the time she had few thousand followers but today she has over 75K!
What's great about her account too is that it does exactly as advertised, the page is completed dedicated to selling vintage clothes. It's not mixed up with personal images or unrelated posts, it's all about the clothes. For those of you thinking but I don't want to have to plaster my face on social media, her images are unrecognisable, so you don't have to worry about being picture perfect and she operates a live auction through her comments with whoever responds first getting the item.
2. Donating to your local shelter
With social media, while it does provide a great platform to sell clothes you do have to have a following to a degree which isn't something that everyone is keen on developing. For those of you out there that still want to get rid of your old clothes in a positive way without the burden of thinking about followers, donating to local shelters is a great option for you. There's nothing better than knowing your clothes are going towards a cause and helping someone in need. A quick Google search is a quick and easy way to find out where your local shelters are and the kind of clothes that they are able to accept.
3. Recycle unwearable items
So, of course we all have those clothes that can't be reused.. hello undies and socks... so rather than chucking them in a bin bag and leaving them to rot in landfill, recycle them. Click here to find out where your local recycling banks are.
4. Last but not least buy fewer clothes
In the past few years, I've become more of a conscious shopper. I think that this is not only because I have more of an understanding of my personal style but also because I understand the importance of buying good quality clothing that will last closer to a lifetime rather than for a couple of months. Having studied sustainability and done my thesis on sustainable fashion it has been drummed home how much power you, as a consumer through your purchasing choices, have on the wider community. It is important to understand and support companies that aim to improve the current status of the fashion industry.
Don't get me wrong it isn't easy for everyone to make the transition to sustainable fabrics for various reasons (I'm still trying!), whether it's too expensive, you don't like the current styles or you simply already love one particular brand and aren't quite ready to give them up. And that's OK! The most important thing is that you make efforts to minimise the negative impact of your wardrobe and work towards making better choices that aid the environment and wider society.