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How to extend the life of your wardrobe

How to extend the life of your wardrobe

Today, many of us buy new clothes frequently and don’t hold on to what we already have long enough. In 2017, the US Environmental Protection Agency reported that 11.2 million tons of textile waste in the country ended up in landfills. Across the ocean in the UK, the average lifespan of a garment is just over two years, according to a 2017 report by the Waste & Resources Action Programme, a British charity.

In our increasingly throwaway culture, it is now common for someone to only use an item a few times – or just once – before getting rid of it. Even charitable donations have a big problem: your little or never-worn clothes are likely to end up in a landfill, or in an overcrowded market in developing countries.

So, before throwing away an item of clothing at the first sign of wear, consider how you can extend the life of your wardrobe. Here are some tips.

quick fixes

If you don’t have access to an affordable tailor or seamstress, learning how to make simple repairs is a great way to make your clothes last longer and shorten the buy-and-dispose cycle. If you’ve never fixed a broken zipper, hemmed a pair of pants or mended a torn jacket, the non-profit platform Fashion Revolution offers videos in English on everything from a simple button repair up until basic patching techniques.

visible patches

“Visibly mending” refers to the process of repairing holes and signs of wear in clothing in a bold and obvious way. In Japan, these flaws are embraced through Japanese handwork Sashiko (literally “small stabs”), a practice that uses hand embroidery to create a delicate pattern over the rips in jeans, sweaters or dresses.

lily fulop, the author of “Wear, Repair, Repurpose: A Maker’s Guide to Mending and Upcycling Clothes,” uses her Instagram page to show her followers how to make creative and eye-catching repairs, often hand-stitching with colorful thread. In some cases, she proves that the best way to fix a hole is not to fix it: Fulop’s embroidered sweater shows how damaged threads can add to an outfit’s charm.

remove stains

Stains don’t have to mark the end of the path for a garment. If you spilled your tea or coffee, soak your clothes in vinegar and water. Got a makeup stain? Apply shaving cream to the area, let it sit for 10 minutes and rinse with cold water, then repeat the process with hot water.

Other household items can help, including detergent and talcum powder for grease stains, and soap and salt for wine stains. the manual “Loved Clothes Lasts” from the Fashion Revolution platform offers a few different methods for removing stains at home, and the internet is full of home solutions for all sorts of clothing coloring problems.

Upcycling and Reuse

Sometimes an item of clothing cannot be saved in its current form, but it can have a second life in your closet. If you have a talent for sewing and are up for a challenge, you can try recycling items at home, creating something new out of used clothes.

If you need inspiration, look to emerging designers like Priya Ahluwalia and Bethany Williams, who create their collections mainly with unused fabrics; or YouTube personalities like Annika Victoria and April Yang (also known as Coolirpa) who dedicate their channels to clothing reuse projects, “Do It Yourself” (or “Do It Yourself”) and sewing tips.

Source: CNN Brasil



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