Updated: May 15
With the recent rise of modern hipsterism and a rapidly growing environmental movement, many people have moved toward a more sustainable way of living. Initiatives such as the minimalist movement and the tiny home movement, lifestyle choices like going clean, organic, GMO free, or gluten free, and a reiterated focus on reducing one’s impact on the world and living in a way that promotes personal health and well being, are all ways to adopt a lifestyle of sustainable living.
One of these trends is a new interest in reusing and recycling textiles, through thrift stores, donation centers, and textile recycle centers. While the benefits seem to speak for themselves, I have compiled a list of seven reasons why thrifting and recycling clothes is important and provides tangible impacts on not only the earth but society as well.
1. Donating clothing helps people in need.
Salvation armies and recycling centers excel at serving underprivileged members of society. Selling gently used clothing at a discounted price can help families and individuals dress themselves with dignity and style without breaking the bank. This can help increase self esteem and even help one more easily gain better employment and social mobility. For example, the Salvation Army recycles and resells donated items in a way that serves the community by encouraging consumerism while also providing jobs and marketable skills for those in need.
2. Donated clothing creates a sustainable market that is both chic and cheap.
Repurposed, recycled, and reused clothing is gaining a larger niche each year in modern society. Thrift store finds are not only good for the environment, humanity, and your wallet, but they are also actually very fashionable. In addition to provided jobs to those in need, donated clothes are more sustainable than traditional manufacturing. Items that are not bought can be sent to foreign countries or organizations that take reuse the fabric or sometimes even completely reweave the threads.
3. Recycling clothes benefits the environment.
The degradation of the environment is a growing concern in world politics and society, as the effects of eroding environmental health could have devastating repercussions. Fast fashion leaves a pollution footprint, with each step of the clothing life cycle generating potential environmental and occupational hazards. This waste not only affects factory workers and impacts the environment, but could potentially affect the general population through the emissions produced by these plants.
Reducing textile production by voting with your dollar and supporting sustainable initiatives over large manufacturers may not only help the environment, but your health and the health of your families. Even if sustainably produced clothing is out of reach, buying recycled clothing prevents you from directly participating in these production practices, which may eventually lead to reform.
Hence, let’s go forth together to support brands which consciously support recycled clothings.
Love Our Earth Now ❤️