It’s unfortunate but, today 57% of all clothing that is no longer wanted (including sneakers) ends up in a landfill. At the landfill, the clothing and shoes will sit for 40+ years to decompose, or they will be incinerated releasing toxic chemicals into the air and soil. Only about 10% of old clothing will be recycled into new products and 8% will be reused through second-hand shopping. Luckily, 95% of clothing and 100% of sneakers are recyclable!
Selling your unwanted clothes is a great way to keep fabrics out of landfills and even earn a little extra cash on the side. You could sell your clothes to consignment shops, thrift stores, or on specialist websites that offer this service.
Perhaps all your unwanted clothes need is a little rejuvenation? Consider having your old clothes re-fitted or tailored into more modern styling. Your old t-shirts fading? No problem. Why not turn them into cozy new pajama tops? The art of repurposing knows no limits when you insert a bit of creativity.
Let’s face it, we all want to keep up with the latest trends; however, doing your research can help to ensure the clothing you purchase will last for years and look timeless.
Why is this so important?
Retail companies often work fast to distribute multiple collections a year where a majority of the clothing is coming from cheap labor in Middle Eastern Countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh. Work conditions in these factories have been reported as non-ethical. Generally, workers are paid very little while still working extremely long hours (up to thirteen hours per day in some cases).
Investing in slow fashion allows you to not only receive high-quality items but also shows your support for ethical companies. There’s no better way to tell retailers that you want them to treat workers and the environment ethically than by using your money to support companies that do.
Brands that produce slow fashion pieces often prioritize lower carbon footprints, fair wages, and zero waste. Fashion retailers that produce these types of items will generally list the components of where the item was made and what materials were use to create the clothing.
The next time you’re shopping, look to see if the brand tells you about how they source their materials and treat their factory workers. If you’re curious and can’t find any information you can email or message the company for clarification.
Sometimes you can neither resell, reuse, or repurpose your old clothing. Not to worry, you can always recycle old or unwanted clothes, shoes and other fabrics!
Be sure to check out places within your community that will accept old/unwanted clothing items and textiles for recycling. Some brand-operated clothing stores may also accept trade-ins or offer collection and recycling services. Your old sweater can be turned into a new product that someone else will love.
This is true of sneakers too. Old sneakers can be recycled and made into running tracks, flooring for playgrounds, and more! In fact, at GotSneakers we have stopped over 60 million pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere by providing a solution to recycling and reusing sneakers.
By becoming a partner with us, you are helping our initiative to help keep shoes and sneakers out of landfills as over 200 million pairs are found each year. You can get involved either by sending us your own retired sneakers, starting a fundraiser for your local organization or as a retailer sending us your cleanout options from your stockroom and inventory. Make sure to follow us on Instagram @GotSneakersUSA for more sustainable fashion tips – including how to spot sustainable brands!