5 Ways to Upcycle Your Closet
POV: You just went through your entire closet + every dresser drawer. You sorted and sifted cleaning everything out. You feel lighter. Your wardrobe feels fresh and each piece sparks joy. But now you have 6 stuffed canvas tote bags in your trunk that you have no idea what to do with… How do you even begin to get rid of these clothes in an ethical way?
Fun Fact: The average American throws away '81 lbs of clothes per year'. YIKES.
Just a little extra time + effort can make a big impact in keeping your clothes from ending up in landfill. To get you inspired, we rounded up a bunch of different options.
Mend / Up-Cycle what you can
Would you wear that bodysuit more if you cut it into a tank top? Can you dye it another color? Mend that tear in the shoulder? Most tailors offer repair and mending services. Here in LA, we love Suay Shop! They’re dedicated to extending the life of textiles. You can drop off any day 10-5pm. They also have a mail in repair program! If your clothes are too far gone, consider keeping them around for cleaning or crafts. Cut up cotton t-shirts make great cleaning rags ;)
Also, don’t sleep on cobblers! A new sole on an old pair of boots can easily double the life of your favorite shoes.
In an effort to close our loop, we’ve partnered with Treet for our Where It Again Whimsy Program, where you can buy / sell Whimsy pieces at reduced prices. Because Treet knows our product already, the upload process for selling is super streamlined. Just snap 3 pics and set your price. When you make a sale you can either take home 110% in W+R credit, or 80% of your earnings in cash. We hope that this is your first thought when choosing to part with your pre-loved whimsy pieces. (Some of your other favorite stores might have a Treet platform too. Something to look out for!)
Otherwise, sites like Poshmark and Depop are great options. Or if your priority is getting the clothes out of your house quick, ThreadUp’s ‘Clean Out Kit’ is amazing. Simply send in your items, and they’ll take care of the rest, even selling stuff for you. Easy peasy!
Host a Clothing Swap
Make it a party! Good On You has some great tips to get you going. Good friends + free clothes? We want an invite!
Yes, selling clothes to curated thrift stores can take time. We recommend grabbing a coffee + bringing a friend with you to make a day of it. Be mindful of what seasons stores are currently buying for to save yourself from lugging around a bunch of extra coats + boots. You can usually find that information on their instagram / website. If you have it in you, stopping at a few different locations can be worth it. Some options we love are Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads + Wasteland. The Bearded Beagle is a local favorite with locations in Highland Park + Echo Park.
Be sure to keep them in mind (along with our online re-sell program, Where it Again Whimsy) the next time you’re looking to fill a gap in your wardrobe too!
Brand Recycling Programs
Some pieces may be too worn and irreparable to sell or donate. In that case, textile recycling is a great way to extend the lifespan just a little bit further. Some recycling programs turn scrap fabric into new pieces of clothing, some make housing insulation. We’d love to carry-out our own internal recycling program at Whimsy some day. Until then, we’re thankful these brands are spearheading the effort.
We appreciate you all for taking the extra time and effort to extend your pre-loved clothing’s life. We hope this guide was helpful and saves you from feeling overwhelmed! And remember, in the words of Anne Marie Bonneau, “We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
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