Saving the planet... one garment at a time!

... and one upcycle at a time... Welcome to my blog: A place to have an "over the fence conversation" about sewing, altered couture, upcycling, and all kinds of crafts using found objects, beads, ephemera and other vintage finds!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Absolute Best Way to Reduce Textiles in Landfills!

In a previous post we talked about the fact that the average American family discards approximately 68 pounds of textile waste into landfills annually.  I am doing my best to decrease this amount, both personally, and hopefully I can influence a few other people as well <winking at you!>.

It should come as no surprise that keeping used clothing and other textiles out of landfills begins with...

...SHOPPING LESS!  Shopping has become an end in itself in our culture.  A pastime or even a hobby.  In part, we're responding to the siren song of advertisers and even our government about the need to keep the economy moving through spending.  And, I often wonder whether we're harking back to some primal hunter-gatherer instinct basic to the human psyche.

I often find sustainability closely linked to frugality, though I am far from immune to consumer culture.  My name is Dee, and I am (at times) a recreational shopper.  I have lofty goals of spending minimally and strategically.  I won't shop at stores which support policies and politics which I cannot support (examples would be Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby), though I realize that I'm not always aware of all hidden agendas.  I buy re-used and recycled whenever possible, and I'm obviously a huge proponent of DIY.

I am far from perfect... but, instead of hitting the mall, I go to yard sales, thrift stores and used goods stores. I also frequently use Pinterest as a shopping substitute - just because I pin it does not mean I have to buy it - and I can go back and look at it whenever I want!  What strategies do you use to decrease your urge to shop?

Next in this series:  Knowing When to Let Go: 7 Reasons to Remove an Item From Your Wardrobe!

Shared at: My Repurposed Life


  1. I'm always overwhelmed when I walk into a thrift store and see the endless aisles of barely used dress shirts, jeans, dresses and other clothes. I'm glad they're not in a landfill, but think of all the energy and resources expended in manufacturing them!

    Here's a bizarre idea -- what if stores allowed people to "pretend" shop? Try on clothes, pick out the ones you want, even go to the register, but then surrender the bag at the door. That way, you get the thrill of the hunt without actually buying anything!

    1. Great idea! I'm also intrigued by a clothing rental scheme I've seen on Facebook where for a subscription rate you can rent a wardrobe and when you are tired of a piece, return it for another. I think it's called Gwinnie Bee but I'll check that cause my memory is not 100% on that. Love the idea though!