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Practical Solutions for Organizing Your Wardrobe With Eco Friendly Fashion

Combating Textile Waste with Style & Sustainability


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Our friends at Waste Free Edmonton have shed light on an issue close to our hearts: Combating textile waste. In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to overlook the impact our clothing choices have on the environment. But fear not! We're diving into practical strategies for decluttering AND embracing second hand finds to tackle textile waste with ease. From savvy shopping habits to creative ways to give old clothes new life, let's embark on a journey toward a more organized, sustainable wardrobe together!


Let's see what they have to share!


 

Understanding the Problem: Textile Waste Cluttering Your Closet AND the Planet


Textile waste encompasses a wide range of materials, including clothing, accessories, household textiles, and even industrial fabrics. The fashion industry, in particular, contributes significantly to this waste stream, with trends changing rapidly and fast fashion garments often designed to be discarded after only a few wears. A recent study led by Seneca Polytechnic estimates that Canadians generate 462,704 tonnes of textile waste each year, which works out to about 12 kg per person. The study also found that 65% of discarded textiles had the potential for reuse, and 21% could have been recycled.


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The environmental impact of textile waste is profound. Synthetic fibers, such as polyester and nylon, take hundreds of years to decompose, releasing harmful chemicals into soil and groundwater during the process. Additionally, the production of textiles consumes vast amounts of resources, including water, energy, and raw materials, further exacerbating environmental degradation and contributing to climate change when we need to replace items we have thrown away.



Practical Tips for Decluttering & Reducing Textile Waste


Making Intentional Purchases

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  1. Support Sustainable Brands: Research and support brands that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices in their production processes. Look for certifications such as Fair Trade, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), or OEKO-TEX Standard 100 to ensure transparency and accountability.

  2. Choose Quality Over Quantity: Invest in high-quality, durable clothing and textiles that are designed to last. While it may require a higher upfront cost, opting for well-made items can save money in the long run and reduce the need for frequent replacements. A helpful way to decide if the garment is worth the expense is to estimate its cost per wear by dividing the total cost by the amount of times you anticipate you will wear it. 

  3. Shop Second hand: Embrace the thrill of thrift shopping and explore second hand stores, vintage shops, and online marketplaces for unique finds. By giving pre-loved items a new lease on life, you're extending their lifespan and diverting them from landfills.

  4. Opt for Sustainable Materials: Look for clothing and textiles made from eco-friendly and sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, or lyocell. These materials have a lower environmental footprint and are often biodegradable or recyclable. Garments with blended fibre types (e.g., 50% cotton/50% polyester) are more difficult to separate for recycling, so opt for mono-material garments if possible. 




Currently Owned Items - Keep it Simple


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  1. Reduce Washing Frequency: Over-washing clothes can accelerate wear and tear, leading to premature disposal. Wear items multiple times before washing them, spot clean stains when possible, and use cold water and eco-friendly detergents to minimize environmental impact.

  2. Repair and Upcycle: Instead of discarding garments at the first sign of wear and tear, learn basic sewing skills to repair minor damages or enlist the help of a tailor. Get creative and upcycle old clothes into new creations, such as tote bags, pillow covers, or patchwork quilts.



Decluttering


  1. Donate and Swap: When it's time to part ways with clothing or textiles, consider donating them to charity organizations, shelters, or clothing drives. You can also organize clothing swaps with friends or community members to exchange items and breathe new life into your wardrobe without contributing to waste!



 

Ready to kickstart your journey towards a clutter-free, eco-friendly lifestyle?


Whether you're feeling overwhelmed or eager to make sustainable changes, Sort and Simple is here to help. Drop us a line and let's tackle this together—because a little simplicity can go a long way!






About the Author


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Waste Free Edmonton is a grassroots, non-profit organization working to significantly reduce the amount of waste created in Edmonton by stopping it at the source. 





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