What do I do with Clothes that are Not Nice Enough to Donate or Re-Sell?
As a personal stylist, I love a good Closet Edit. If you are one of the millions of people who read, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up," by Marie Kondo, you likely love a good closet/ book/ house edit, as well. (I chose the audio option and wrapped it up in 4 hours.)
When I work with a client, our goal is to ensure that each piece in her closet is just perfect for her right now. It communicates her personal style. It fits. It's flattering for her body. And, it's at the level she is. That last part can be the hardest lesson of all. If you love it, but it's crazy old, pilling, torn, missing buttons and so on, it's only going to bring your otherwise stellar outfit down. Yes, you should try to save it. If it can be saved, that is. Purchase a shaver to remove pilling. I'm recommending a favorite of my friend and local organizing guru, Annie Traurig. Take it to the cleaners, determine if you can actually make it into something else (perhaps a handbag or scarf).
After you've exhausted all those options, it's time to let go and donate the piece. As you may know, Dear Reader, Poplin and the One Eighty Foundation hold monthly styling workshops for homeless or formerly homeless youth in YouthCare's Barista Training Program. We teach the youth what is appropriate for job interviews and help them select pieces they can keep. Find out more about donating to YouthCare here.
As we all know, there are pieces that simply aren't fit to be donated. Then what? Do you just throw them away?
In a word, "no."
Head over to your local H&M. That's right. H&M. You can donate your pieces to be transformed into new textiles. There's usually a bin near the cash register or you can ask a sales associate.
If you are into this kind of thing, and I hope that you are, H&M is actually doing quite a bit of work to combat the impact of the often disposable pieces it creates from fair and living wages to water conservation. You can also look to Eileen Fisher and other high end brands as beacons of hope on this front.
Now, back to tidying up.
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