Informing you about the impact fashion has on the environment is great, but this does not change anything unless we have a solution. And so, we have created a list of ways that you can help out as a sustainable consumer, designer and home-sewer.
1) Never throw your clothes in the garbage, regardless of their state.
Clothing donation bins accept ALL used clothing.
Even those un-donatable clothing, such as old socks, can still be placed in donation bins. The clothing you donate does not go straight to local charities, they are thoroughly sorted. Any clothing that cannot be donated, gets sold to rag-brokers and used for insulation. A much better cause than adding to a landfill. - Source: Textile Waste Diversion
2) Purchase clothing made from sustainable fibres or used clothing.
This includes certified organic cotton, Tencel®, recycled fabrics, rPET polyester, pre-consumer waste fabrics, closed-loop bamboo, peace silk. The fabrics should be dyed with low-impact or natural dyes.
How can I find out this information? It should say in the content tag and be available on their company website. There should be nothing to hide.
Look for certifications such as Oeko-tex Standard 100, GOTS Certified, Blue Sign®, AZO-free, etc.
Also, purchasing used clothing is the best way to close the loop and fully recycle a garment's life.
3) Hold on to your fabric scraps.
Elementary schools and local craft workshops collect scrap fabric to use for small arts and crafts. Research around your area and ask if they are collecting.
You can also get creative yourself and create small accessories and fun crafts. There are plenty of ideas surfing the internet and hanging out on library shelves, so take a look and see what you find!
4) Designers & Home-sewers - preplan your pattern pieces before cutting them out.
If you already do this - excellent! Taking that little extra time to preplan the placement of all of your pattern pieces before cutting can save you from wasting fabric, and wasting your money!