You are what you wear so #LoveYourClothes

Whenever I watch a TED talk…BOOM! Inspiration hits me and out comes an article! Christina Dean is the founder of Redress. She cares so much about sustainability in the fashion industry that she was inspired to wear clothing picked out of a landfill for A YEAR. The outfits she found in dumpsters were perfectly good clothes, except for maybe a few spots. She found designer items that were in perfect shape, except for a missing button or a stain. So many things that are thrown away are repairable! She stresses the fact that landfills wouldn’t be so full of clothes if we loved our clothing more.

I thought, “How cool would it be to do what she did, but maybe just for a week and join the #LoveYourClothes movement?!” But then, I remembered that I did something like this once but with a much more special piece of clothing! In December, I volunteered at a wedding dress warehouse to sort through sample dresses that people could buy. Proceeds benefited Wish Upon a Wedding. WUAW is a nonprofit that gives terminally-ill brides the weddings of their dreams. I was overwhelmed at how many dresses there were in this full warehouse! My job was to sort through and literally THROW OUT gowns that would never sell because of rips or stains. At the end, we had dumpsters full of beautiful gowns. Us volunteers were heartbroken, so I decided to take home some of the gowns that I could still potentially get use out of. After looking at what I had taken, I realized that some of them were almost still perfectly fine. I wore one to a photoshoot, and might even wear it for my next pageant. It goes to show what putting a little TLC into your wardrobe can do. I included a photo of this dress that I brought back to life below!

Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, after oil. Fast fashion stores like H&M, Forever 21, and others cycle new clothes into their stores every 1-2 weeks. It doesn’t add up. How are they constantly making so many new clothes for so cheap? Workers in Bangladesh and India probably aren’t getting paid fairly for the constant work they are doing in polluting garment factories. I surveyed my followers on Instagram, and 70% of them consistently shop at fast fashion stores instead of investing in higher quality pieces. Instead, shop in stores like Everlane and Madewell that openly share their supply chain transparency. These brands are sustainable and ethical. Make the switch! Stop buying poorly made clothes that you’ll trash after a few wears, and invest in yourself and your style.

If you want to learn more about sustainability and how you can be a smarter consumer, watch this TED talk Youtube video, or watch “The True Cost” documentary on Netflix. I encourage you to join the #LoveYourClothes movement and bring a garment back to life, like Christina and I did!

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Salvaged wedding dress, almost ending up in a landfill. Photo by DSW Photography

10 Brands to Recycle your Clothes at that Benefit YOU

In the fashion industry, the new hot topic is of course, sustainability, which means avoiding the depletion of our natural resources to maintained a balanced ecosystem. You would not believe the amount of water, fabric, energy, and other resources it takes to make clothes. Especially with fast fashion stores like Forever 21, Zara, and H&M, we are constantly throwing out and buying clothes we don’t need.

So instead of throwing out your clothes, the logical thing to do is donate them, right? Well, of course this takes a little extra effort. But what if I told you that donating your clothes can benefit YOU? Brands are trying very hard now to be more sustainable, so they are incentivizing customers to come recycle clothes in ANY CONDITION their stores.

H&M: Recycle any clothes/fabric, receive a 15% off coupon

MAC: Recycle any 6 MAC packaged makeup items, receive a free MAC lipstick

Eileen Fisher: Recycle any clothes, for every item, receive $5 reward card

Levis: Recycle any clothing or shoes,  receive 20% off any item

LUSH: Recycle any LUSH 5 packaging tubs, receive a free face mask

Madewell: Recycle an old pair of jeans, receive $20 off a new pair of jeans

Monki: Recycle any clothes/fabric, receive a voucher

Kiehls: Recycle any 10 full-size Kiehls container to receive 10 stamps, receive a free Kiehls travel item

The North Face: Recycle any clothes or shoes, receive a $10 off $100 or more coupon

& Other Stories: Recycle old beauty packaging and clothes, receive a 10% off purchase

So, keep a pile of recyclable clothes/fabric to bring shopping with you, and you will be rewarded! Cleaning your closet, saving money, and saving the environment all at the same time! Take advantage of these innovative programs!