Friday, January 30, 2015

3 Really Good Reasons for Not Throwing Away Clothing in the Garbage

Posted by Amanda Villaruel | |
Are you tempted to throw away clothing - in the garbage? Before you do, you shouldn't miss out on these three really good reasons for not dumping your used clothing :-)
Three good reasons for not throwing away clothes in the garbage
Three good reasons for not throwing away clothes in the garbage

1) The Green Bonus

Let us start with the obvious reason: to be environmentally friendly! Anything that stays away from the landfill is better for the environment.

Do you know how much clothing is thrown away? It's insane, but here it goes.

According to WRAP, each year there's an estimated 1,1 million tons of end-of-life clothing that is passed on by UK consumers, either for re-use, recycling, incineration or landfill. An estimated 350,000 tons of clothing is sent to the landfill each year.

A major issue with textile waste is that natural fibers biodegrade in landfill and emit methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Carbon dioxide might be the bad boy, but methane is actually 30 times worse as a hot-trapping gas, making it the badder boy (Reuters, Science Daily).

So, when you give the clothing a second chance, either by selling or donating, you're helping the environment. And of course, this gives you a better conscience. A good conscience has no price.

2) Earn money by selling unwanted clothing

Sell your clothing online - here on Threadflip

Why not earn some money on the clothing you want to get rid of?

The money potential is there, but you have to invest time in making the clothes sellable. Well, unless you're a celebrity and people want your clothes anyhow ;-)

Some of your options: Threadflip (US, earn up to 80% cashback on each sale), Tradesy (US, takes 9% of each sale), ASOS Marketplace (UK, takes 10-20% of each sale), Preloved (UK, free listing), Madchenflohmarkt (Germany), My Fashion Market (Germany).

My personal tips: 
  1. Iron the clothes before taking photographs - the nicer it looks, the more attractive it appears

  2. To make the garment more presentable, use a friend as a model or use a hanger

  3. When taking photos, avoid any use of filters or flashlight. It's best to take photos of the clothing in natural light, so the real color is shown in the photos.

  4. As for the description of the item, be sure to include information like size, materials and any defects. If you're using a model, it's beneficial to write the model's size so the potential buyer gets the feeling of how small/large the garment is.

The more information you provide, the less likely the product will be returned to you. Because if the buyer complains about a defect, you can defend yourself and say that you informed about it (and that the buyer should have read the product description before purchasing).

Some services handle the photography, pricing, sale and shipping for you, like Twice and Threadflip.

3) Socialize, have some fun and arrange a clothing swap party

If drinking wine and having a good time with your closest friends are not good enough reasons, then obviously you haven't tried a clothing swap meet ;-)

Set a date, make snacks, bring out the wine and make sure you have a pile of clothes that's ready! Avoid the trash and boost your relationship with your friends :-)

Read: How to arrange a clothing swap meet!

So, what are your options if you shouldn't throw away clothing?

a) Donate the clothing to charity organizations, that often resell the clothing in thrift stores. There's no guarantee that the clothing you give away will stay away from the landfill, because it depends on how 'resellable' it is.

When charity organizations go through the donated clothing, they sort out the pieces that are good enough to be resold in the thrift store. The rest of it is sold to textile recyclers, that ship clothing to the African continent.

Some would probably think that shipping our used clothes can be immoral, because in reality Western consumers are dumping our problems somewhere else. The real challenge lies in reducing the amount of clothes we own and be satisfied with what we already have.
Donate clothing to charity
Donate clothing to charity

b) Donate the clothing to friends, family or relatives

c) Take the clothing to a household waste recycling center (often referred to as 'dumps' in the UK)

d) Donate directly to charity. Many churches accept clothing as donation, and others arrange 'events' where you and I can donate clothes to poor people.

Homeless shelters is also a good alternative. But if you only have dresses and pumps to give away, you might reconsider this option. Homeless people need practical clothing and items, like warm jackets, scarves and blankets.

e) Donate to schools that arrange flea markets.

Continue to read:
5 practical eco-laundry tips.

10 easy tips on how to go thrift shopping

Have your say about what you just read :)

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