It has been four years since Vetements dumped a pile of old clothes in its Saks window display, making a very visual statement of fashion’s waste problem.

Unfortunately, the Parisian label’s message still applies today. Less than one per cent of discarded garments actually gets recycled; most of it ends up in landfills or incinerators.

Resale platforms like Depop and Vestiaire Collective have been trying to change that, encouraging people to resell their unwanted clothes. Local vintage stores, like Loop Garms, have made a business of finding new (and often young) owners for old clothes. And several brands, ranging from a luxury fashion label like Marine Serre to a sportswear company like ASICS, have ventured into creating entire collections out of textile waste — with convincing results.

With Earth Day around the corner, it’s time to consider what we can do to be part of the change — lest that haunting image of unwanted clothes becomes our legacy. Below, we’ve listed all the eco-friendly ways you can get rid of the wardrobe pieces that no longer serve you.

 

Header photo credit: Hakinmhan / iStock / Getty Images

1
Alter (or trade) your clothes at Blum & Co.

If you’re getting rid of clothes because they no longer fit you, try getting them resized instead. Local fashion label Blum & Co is now offering its alteration services for all clothes, including ones from other brands, at a flat rate of S$8. If you have plenty of clothes that need reworking, you can purchase S$120 worth of the brand’s alteration vouchers for only S$80. After all, extending the shelf life of your clothes is just one of many ways to create a sustainable wardrobe.

If you choose to part with your clothes anyway, be sure to do so at a Blum & Co store. From now until 14 May, the brand will let you trade them for two new blouses worth S$80. Your unwanted clothes will be donated to a charity organisation and given to those in need.

Terms and conditions apply.

(Photo credit: pina messina / Unsplash)

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2
Resell your designer goods on Vestiaire Collective

This April, Vestiaire Collective has teamed up with The OR Foundation, a circular fashion charity, to raise funds for two of its projects. The first is a new textile recycling lab to create wearable clothes out of waste. The second is the Kayayei Food Sovereignty Program, which aims to break the cycle of food insecurity that leads to the exploitation of thousands of women and girls in Ghana every year.

To support these causes, Vestiaire Collective is making a donation to The OR Foundation for every product listing on its platform until 25 April. It aims to raise S$30,000 by the end of the week, so now is the perfect time to dust off those designer goods that have been sitting in your closet and sell them off.

And if you need more nudging, each listing enters you into a draw to win a S$1,600 voucher — to spend on your favourite luxury fashion pieces on Vestiaire Collective. The more you list, the higher your chances of winning.

(Photo credit: Vestiaire Collective)

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3
Exchange your old clothes at Cloop’s Fashion Swap!

If you prefer a little socialising to go with your sustainability efforts, Cloop has just the thing. The homegrown initiative, which aims to reduce fashion consumption, hosts regular Fashion Swap! events where you can trade your preloved clothing for those offered by others.

Cloop has a Fashion Swap! event coming up on Sunday, 25 April, at Crane. To participate, you’ll have to bring along five to 10 pieces of women’s fashion items (including clothes, bags, shoes and accessories) that are clean and in good condition. You’ll get to swap them for up to 10 pieces for just S$35. Alternatively, you can also donate them to Cloop. Slots for the event are already filling up fast, so be sure to book yours soon.

(Photo credit: Cloop)

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4
Donate your pre-loved Uniqlo clothes for recycling

Late last year, Uniqlo made a buzz with its collection of recycled down jackets.

It was part of the Japanese brand’s Re.Uniqlo initiative, which collects old Uniqlo clothing from customers to be recycled or reused. If they’re not used to make new clothes, such as those aforementioned jackets, the donated secondhand items will be distributed by humanitarian, non-profit organisations to those in need, including refugees and disaster victims.

You can be part of the Re.Uniqlo initiative by simply dropping off your used (but clean!) garments to the “Uniqlo Recycling Box” at your nearest Uniqlo store.

(Photo credit: Uniqlo)

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Pameyla Cambe
Senior Writer
Pameyla Cambe is a fashion and jewellery writer who believes that style and substance shouldn't be mutually exclusive. She makes sense of the world through Gothic novels, horror films and music. Lots of music.