Sunday, January 13, 2008

Out with the old

There are all sorts of reasons to love thrifting. Until I started reading blogs, though, I never realized how many people cite ethical reasons for doing so. Of course, this makes perfect sense. Second-hand items do not call for extraneous production and encourage sustainability. The planned obsolescence of the fashion industry leads people to buy things to be disposable.

Despite hating the theory behind this concept as being harmful and status-conscious, I have to say that I am guilty of the occasional purchase of a trendy, shotty item that I know will make me grimace before it goes through a spin cycle. I suspect that most lovers of fashion do the same.

Beyond trendy junk, though, I must say that I regard my wardrobe not as disposable, but as mobile. Behold my latest pile of cast-offs:

This one is actually a bit smallish for me, but every few months I purge a sizable pile of items. Many of them I've never actually worn because I thrifted them at a store without dressing rooms and have a chronic inability to size myself. On one hand, I feel a bit guilty for not being sustainable. On the other, I always donate my clothes and would never simply throw them away. There are plenty of homeless and domestic abuse shelters that have a constant need for clothing donations.

Is there an ethical distinction to be made between donation and throwing away, and between thrifting and buying new? I hope so, because I have already made mental peace with it.


Jen (MahaloFashion) said...

I always love cleaning out my closet because I feel like I'm starting fresh!!

Isabel said...

I didn't start thrifting for ethical reasons, but they are why I continue to thrift instead of not buying clothes at all.

Ceci n'est pas une blogger. said...

I love cleaning out my closet and donating all of the clothes that I never wear to people who actually need them - most of them are in amazing condition and are going to waste in my closet.

Want to exchange links?

laura said...

well, of course it's better to donate the clothes instead of throwing them away. however, lots of our clothes aren't given to poor people, but sent to africa and sold there. i once read an article about it and thought it was shocking. because of that, i think everyone should try to reduce the amount of clothing they give away. another good solution would be to give the clothes to someone you know who needs them.

Hailey said...

Of course. Also, I find I do the same thing, cast away things I've never worn. If they were worn, I probably wear often and hence would not want to get rid of. No need to feel bad about tossing clothes you never wear, especially when you are donating them! Your closet space thanks you.

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