Today’s blog comes form Amanda, ILACSD’s Hotline Manager, and she is here to show you how to reduce your use and reuse your clothing. You may even make a buck doing it! Read on to learn more about how this new trend not only benefits your wallet, it conserves our planet.
Did you know what the average American throws away 65 pounds of clothing each year? Recent reports show the steady decline of available space in our landfills and the majority of municipal solid waste can be diverted through recycling and reuse, and that includes textiles. Thus, we want to redirect our clothing and give it another life before it heads to its final resting place at the landfill. Buying and selling used clothing help to reduce the heavy burden on our local landfills, and it allows you to do your part in reducing your use of our finite resources on our planet.
Thanks in part to Macklemore’s hit “Thrift Shop”, buying used clothing has become one of the latest fashion trends. There are now many options beyond your local thrift store to buy and sell used clothing and other accessories – allowing shoppers to find one-of-a-kind pieces. Plus, you can have the peace of mind your favorite top or dress found a new home and you free up some space for some new-to-you treasures! To get started, visit www.WasteFreeSD.org and search “Thrift Stores” to find a variety of stores that buy and/or sell used-clothing near you! Here are some of our favorite used-clothing vendors:
Buffalo Exchange buys, sells, and trades gently used clothing, shoes and accessories. In San Diego, Buffalo Exchange has stores in Pacific Beach and Hillcrest. Before coming in to sell clothing for the first time, Buffalo Exchange recommends calling ahead to see what items the store is looking for at that time. Buffalo Exchange is also a donation point for authentic fur apparel. Items made of fur are donated to their Coats for Cubs program where the items are then sent to rehabilitation organizations around the U.S. to provide a natural environment for rescued animals. We certainly don’t endorse purchasing authentic fur apparel, but it’s great to know that there is a positive way to repurpose those. Don’t forget to bring your reusable bag to Buffalo Apparel, because when you refuse a plastic bag, they give you a token to place into the nonprofit container of your choice, and they will make a donation just because you brought your own reusable bag!
Online thrift stores have also grown in popularity. They offer a wide variety of clothing for you to peruse and order from the comfort of your own home! ThredUP, for example, invites you to order a FREE Clean Out Bag online, stuff it with your unwanted items and then ship your clothing to be sold online. Any items that are not in a reusable condition go to their charitable partners or textile recyclers.
Vinted is another website and convenient smartphone app. You take pictures of the items you want to sell, list what condition it is in, and correspond directly with the buyer. Vinted handles the financial transaction for you, and you ship the items yourself to the buyer.
Acting locally is always best when it comes to reusing clothing you’ve grown tired of. Gather together a group of your best friends and have a clothing swap night! Emily, one of our environmental educators, recently hosted one at her church and it was a hit! Approximately 10 people attended and walked away with at least 5 new items – all for FREE! The remaining 143 items, a combination of shoes, accessories and clothes, were donated to the church’s clothing closet. Just because you are tired of your floral pink blouse doesn’t mean your friend is! This not only helps to reuse clothing, it reduces the need for greenhouse gases created in shipping clothing around the country.
Finally, if you just can’t seem to part with some sentimental pieces of clothing, repurposing is always a great option! If you have an old sweater that has seen better days, turn it into a cute scarf or even a reusable cozy for your coffee cup. Old t-shirts can also be turned into dog toys, bags or even a rug. The ideas are limitless!
You can find all of these great ideas and more on I Love a Clean San Diego’s Pinterest page! And don’t forget to check out www.WasteFreeSD.org and www.RepairSD.org to find other recycling and repair services near you!