A March 2016 article in the Huffington Post addressed a topic that falls close to the truth for many Americans. Why You Need to Stop Buying Cheap Clothes talks about the nearly insane amount of clothing that U.S. citizens buy every year. The article goes on to explain that the fast fashion trend of buying inexpensive clothing that often quickly goes out of fashion comes at a very high cost.
the cost is crowded landfills that are overflowing with the 12 million tons of clothing and textiles that Americans throw out every single year. Buying 10 pair of those flip flops that go one sale at your favorite retail store every Memorial weekend is fun, but the consequences are monumental. When retailers offer inexpensive clothing and have flash sales that drop the prices even lower on special days of the year, americans take the bait and do what we do best. Consume. The problem is those $10 flip flops do not last through the summer. Some do not even last through the month of June. And because these plastic shoes are so inexpensive, we think nothing of throwing them away when they break or go out of style.
What is, however, instead of buying 10 different pair of dollar flip flops we instead bought one $10 pair that was more carefully made. That single pair of sandals might last us through the summer. In fact, they might last period. They might be good enough, in fact, that we decide to donate them to our younger cousin who is going on a camping trip with her church youth group. One pair of shoes, two users, months, maybe years, of wear. Great idea, right?
Being a Responsible Consumer Is the First Step Toward Saving This Planet
While many people may have finally gotten to the point where they ask for paper bags instead of plastic at the local grocery store, fewer people approach the clothing we buy with the same eye toward the environment. Intrigued by the latest sale and in search of the latest bargain, many American consumers are guilty of buying more whenever they find a bargain. Stop reading this article for a moment and walk to your closet. How many unworn pieces of clothing and pairs of shoes do you have? How many items still have the price tags on reminding you of the great deal that you got? This, in a nutshell, is the problem with how today’s consumer works.
Decluttering Closets, Dressers, and Drawers Can Lead to a Simpler Life
Instead of following the trend and chasing down sale prices for items that we really do not need, what about going through our closets and keeping only what we wear. Take the gently used items that you do not wear and call one of the charities that pick up clothing donations and schedule a visit. For items that are truly unwearable because of stains or damage, find a local recycling company that accepts textile donations. In some cases, charities that pick up clothing donations will quickly sort out the items they receive and send the unwearable items to recycling, but even if they do not, someone in your city will take these items and recycle them.
Once your closet has been cleaned out, keep it that way. Enjoy the freedom you have of not having to sort through 20 shirts that you have never worn to find the one shirt that is your favorite. You will save time each and every day that you dress. This simple life that you have in your bedroom with your clothes may even be so addicting that you will find yourself decluttering other parts of your home as well.
Charities That Pick Up Clothing Donations Do More Than Just Distribute Wearable Items
Making the decision to call charities that pick up clothing donations is the first step in a long line of events that help our community, our economy, and our planet. The clothes donations that are picked up can be sorted and distributed to those in need. Next, the unusable fabrics can be sent to recycling. Along the way many people are employed to help with all of these processes. The textile recycling industry alone accounts for 17,000 american jobs.