Spring is in the air! Kind of. More like, Iím getting that “spring-ish” feeling that usually comes in February when the temperature rises above freezing. With said feeling, comes a very bad desire: the desire to buy new “spring-ish” clothes. Bad. As a college student, I donít particularly have the money to spend on lots of new clothes. Not to mention the fact that I already have an overflowing wardrobe of perfectly fine clothes. Iím just bored of them.
This year, Iím not going to give in to said desire. No. Iím going to be green about it. Creatively green about it. Because, in all honesty, my clothes arenít too old or spindly or falling apart at the seams, and therefore do not warrant being thrown out for new ones. In fact, only 2 percent of clothes that are thrown out in the United States are unwearable–shocking, no? And incredibly wasteful.
So, rather than throwing out old clothes (I actually donít ever throw out clothes, I kind of hoard them ďfor later useĒ) to buy new ones, I am going to recycle and reuse. The clothes that I simply never wear, despite being in perfectly good condition and of good fabric, I shall reinvent. Just because a shirt has a couple of holes in it does not mean that it is unusable–I can make patches for old jeans, or use the fabric from it, along with the fabric from other old clothes, to make a patchwork bag or scarf or belt. I do like eclectic clothing, so this is really the perfect wardrobe solution. Jeans that are torn and dirty at the bottoms (my jeans are always too long and get ruined) can be cut off for shorts, or re-sewn into a jean skirt. Good fabrics will last, so rather than putting them away to never be seen again, try making something new and interesting that you will wear all the time. There is much less waste in such a habit.
Plus, youíll be so excited by your creative inventions that you wonít even want to buy new clothes! Youíll just want to make more cool things Ö I know I do. And, for the clothes that you honestly will never wear, even if they are in good shape, there are other options than the trash or the bottom of your dresser. Take them to Goodwill, or the Salvation Army–there are usually drop boxes in convenient spots around town. Or, if you want to make a profit, see if your local consignment store will take them from you.
Note to self: Donít waste, create.
Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a sophomore at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.