An experiment in conscious living.

Commitment #12

“I will trade, donate or upcycle old clothing.”

While Wal-Mart and H&M are getting busted by The New York Times for purposely destroying brand new clothing they couldn’t sell, I’m making a commitment to respect my old clothes, bucking the trend that has the average American discarding 68 pounds of clothing a year.

Let’s start with what makes clothing old to begin with. I admit, as far as I’m concerned, my clothes become old the minute I don’t want to wear them anymore. Given my stand on waste reduction in previous posts that might seem harsh, except that my old clothes are not headed for the landfill. For top-of-the-line unwantables, the chances are good someone else will appreciate them and my chances of finding that someone increase at a clothing swap. This is where friends and friends of friends come together with bags of clothing they don’t want and go home with clothing they do want. These events are fun and work especially well for items children have outgrown.

Next is the pure give away. There are a number of outlets for donating old clothing, with the Salvation Army’s Sally Store at the top of my list. It’s easy; just stop by during their regular business hours, drop off the unwanted items and go home with a receipt good for a tax deduction.

Finally, what to do with clothing that everyone considers old, like those puka pants? This is where your creativity comes in. There is no end to the clever ways one can upcycle fabric, which basically means taking something about to go to the landfill and giving it a new life. I have seen old jeans turned into clothespin bags; old sweaters turned into stuffed animals and old tee-shirts turned into rugs, all to great effect.

Join me in making this lifestyle commitment at Kanu Hawai`i.


1 Comment»

  Kristi wrote @

Too bad we aren’t the same size! But I do this with my mommy… and she’s got some nice clothes that I can’t wait for her to get tired of. 🙂 Note to self: make more friends who are the same size as me. Hehe.

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