Each week this month we are sharing tips on how to transition your wardrobe to one that is ethically-sourced while staying on a budget. January can be a financially tight month for many people as we recover from holiday spending and end-of-year obligations. This doesn’t have to mean you neglect your intentions to be more purposeful about what you buy and where you buy in this new year!
Our second recommendation for budget-friendly ethical wardrobe is to repair, repurpose, and revive the clothes you already have.
When you see a hole, stain, or rip where it shouldn’t be, your immediate thought might be to part ways with your once-loved clothing. But, we don’t think these items have to see their last days. With a little creativity, a good needle and thread, and a go-to local alterations shop your damaged goods can be revived.
Not only is this approach cost-effective by decreasing the frequency you buy brand new replacements for clothes and shoes, it also ensures you aren’t adding to environmental issues caused by increased waste. Most clothes are made from synthetic, non-biodegradable materials that will pile up in a landfill. Their eventual decomposition creates greenhouse gasses which impact our global warming problem. So if there is no way an item can be repaired, make sure you are putting them in a local textile recycling bin.
Deciding to repair rather than dispose can also nurture your creativity. Did a button fall off? Learn a new skill (with the help of an online tutorial)! Did you rip a hole in your favorite jacket? Find a fun fabric that you can patch it with! Maybe you even use an old flannel shirt to patch all of your holes. Did you get a stain on your t-shirt? Grab some paint or dye and make the t-shirt your canvas. A once accidental stain is now an artistic masterpiece you can wear. And don’t forget, a good pair of fabric scissors can turn old jeans into shorts, stretched out shirts into sleeveless tanks for working out, or even pajama pants into a homemade, reusable produce bag (you can find anything on Pinterest)!
Your old clothes have so much potential. Think twice before you toss and turn your disposal mindset into a repair mindset.