There’s a chance you’ve gone shopping recently, and now you want to purge your closet and throw out some old clothes. However, tossing clothes without a second thought has detrimental effects on the environment. Before you throw anything away, think hard about why you want to throw it away in the first place, and then come back and read more on why you should never throw clothes away.
Discarded Clothing Costs Communities Money
Even if the clothing you purchase is biodegradable, towns in the US spend $45 or more per ton on clothing piles that end up in landfills. However, the majority of clothing we toss into landfills is reusable and recyclable. For example, you can patch up that stained sweater or dye it to hide the stain. There are also many ways to repurpose clothing; for instance, old, thin shirts can live again as dishrags or headbands.
The Clothing Industry Contributes to Much of the World’s Pollution
The apparel industry is the second leading polluter in the world, producing nearly 13 million tons of clothing items a year but throwing out close to 85% of this number worldwide—much of the clothing gets tossed into landfills or burned. This makes reusing textiles all the more essential to the environment.
What You Can Do
If you’re concerned about how much waste the clothing industry produces, here’s how you can change that dynamic.
Donate Old Clothing
Thrifting is experiencing a new rise in popularity, with many young people wanting to help the environment by shopping secondhand. When you donate your old clothing, you’re essentially saving the environment one load of clothes at a time.
Many charities are happy to take used clothing that you no longer need. Don’t donate to follow a trend—do it to save yourself closet space, make a better impact on the environment, and reduce textile waste in landfills.
Throw a Clothes-Swapping Party
Another way you can quickly get rid of clothes is to throw a clothing swap party, in which a group of friends or even a community comes to one location to hang out and swap clothing pieces. Leave something old behind and return home with something new to you.
I hope these reasons why you should never throw clothes away have given you a fresh mindset on what can happen if you don’t consider your other options before throwing a piece of clothing out. Remember to think before throwing away any of the old clothing you have piled up in your closet.