Reducing textile waste by rediscovering your existing wardrobe

Reducing textile waste by rediscovering your existing wardrobe


Hello! This month we will be looking at textile waste and ways we can reduce the amount of clothes we dispose of.

Textile waste is clothing that we throw away, which then end up in landfill. In this article we will be discussing shopping your own wardrobe (yes, really!) and upcycling your clothes. The fashion industry's contribution to climate change is undeniable, so it's imperative that we do our bit to reduce consumption when it comes to fast fashion and waste.

Shopping your wardrobe means creating outfits from clothing and accessories that you already own. It's easy to forget what's sitting in our wardrobes and, for many of us, there will be great pieces hidden away that haven't seen the light of day for years. Below are some of my top tips for rediscovering your clothes. 

  • Layers, layers and more layers - Layer seasonal clothes to get more wear. Don’t let your summer items sit in the wardrobe for months.

  • Swap accessories  - Try adding jewellery you haven’t paired with the outfit before. Adding a statement piece can reinvent a plain shirt or dress. 

  • Stop saving things for special occasions - Don’t wait for a special event to wear your finer pieces, by pairing fancier pieces with a simple T-shirt or denim jackets you can create new outfits entirely.

  • Break up sets - If you have sets of items, split them up. Wear parts of the set as individual items to create new outfits with your existing wardrobe.

One of the biggest ways to tackle waste is to give our old clothes a new lease of life by upcycling them. Not only does it help the planet, but it can also change how we view our clothes and saves money in the process. Upcycling can seem a bit scary, especially if you haven’t tried it out but it can be as simple as changing the buttons on a cardigan. A pair of scissors, a needle, and a thread can easily transform a piece of clothing into something new entirely!

  • Add some colour - Dyeing is way more doable than you think. Take a faded pair of jeans back to jet black or reinvent dingy whites with completely new colours.

  • Buttons - I pick up buttons when I am out and about, I have a large jar full. I mainly go for chunky wooden buttons but the options are endless! Adding buttons can completely transform a jacket or cardigan. Adding sparkly buttons can create an evening outfit or swapping buttons for bold colourful ones can create a unique one of a kind item. 

Get mending, sashiko style - Make a statement when mending your clothes, add a bold patch with some contrasting embroidery. Don't try to blend the mend. 


Would you be interested in a mending circle in Grantham? A social get together to fix our clothes, patch our jeans, learn new skills and have lots of great coffee (and cake)? Let me know!

In my next article I will be talking about shopping pre loved.


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