For the month of March I am turning my anger at our political climate into action. Since this is not enough to completely exhaust the well, I am also directing the rest of my angry energy at cleaning out my closet.
Spring is a time for rebirth, and my closet is in dire need of a new life. After watching The True Cost on Netflix I’ve decided to stop investing in fast fashion and start sustainably shopping. Fast fashion is horrible for women, children, the fashion marketplace and mother earth. How we spend our money talks (just look at how consumers coerced the Uber CEO out of a Trump administration position) and conscious consumerism is one of the many ways to protest against this administration. Unfortunately before my closet can be reborn like the phoenix, I must first let it burn.
Instead of throwing all of my “old” clothes away, I decided that the best plan was to take the items from my closet and use them for good. If you, like me, are in need of a closet rebirth check out my ideas below for ways to recycle and places to donate your clothes.
The first idea is to donate to women’s shelters! While online shopping, aka speaking with my money, on one of my favorite feminist website Female Collective, I came across their Uplift the Girls campaign. Uplift the Girls was created to spread awareness and request donations for undergarments for homeless women. Unfortunately, most of us do not think to donate our gently used bras leaving homeless women without the proper undergarments. Female Collective started this campaign in December and have continued it after its success this winter. Personally, I am guilty of bra hoarding and I have a collection of bras that have almost never been worn. Female Collective has an address on their website that you can mail bras to where they will donate to shelters in LA.
Another option is to donate to the women’s shelters near you. I am guilty of creating a giant donate pile and then ignoring it for months until I finally take it to a donation dumpster in a CVS parking lot. The items I am removing from my beloved wardrobe this time will be going to a local women’s shelter.
Now Em, you may say, if fast fashion is evil, shouldn’t you reuse or recycle the items you no longer need? Why don’t you try to resell some of your clothing to make a profit? In reality, there are probably too many stains on things or missing buttons to resell but if you are a goddess at laundry and your items are still in mint condition I recommend selling them on Depop, Poshmark or Mercari. This helps reduce the creation of throw away clothes, helps people with less money get the latest fashions and if you want to go above and beyond you can donate the money you earn to your favorite charity, or use some of it to buy more clothes (I won’t judge you).
My final closet cleaning tip is to turn the shirts you love and can’t give away into a quilt. Blankets are my favorite things in the world and a blanket made out of soft tshirts is heavenly to snuggle with. When I graduated high school and left my first job (a job I worked at for all four years of high school) my best friend made me a quilt out of all of my old shirts. Six years later, I still use that blanket on a weekly basis. I love it and it takes up way less space in my closet than my shirts did.
I am very excited for the rebirth of my closet. This purge is a necessary part of the rebirth of my closet and it feels good to do good for the planet and other women while doing so.
Let me know what some of your favorite charities to donate are and what you do with the casualties from your closet clear outs!