Tuesday, 30 August 2016

5 Easy and Ethical Ways to Clear Your Clutter, in Collaboration with Oxfam

I'm a firm believer that a tidy home leads to a tidy mind, and it seems I'm not alone, given the runaway success of Japanese de-cluttering guru Marie Kondo's guidebooks and the minimalistic Scandi aesthetic currently dominating my Pinterest feed. However, simply throwing out your unwanted possessions isn't the solution - chances are it'll just get end up in landfill. So what's the best way to de-clutter easily and ethically? Check out my top 5 tips below.

1. Define Your Style
Take a good look at your current wardrobe and think about whether it reflects your personal style. Are there certain pieces you gravitate towards on a daily basis, whilst other items are stuck at the back of the wardrobe with the tags still attached? Figuring out what makes your style 'you' will make it much easier to sort through the mountains of clothes and set you on the path to buying better and more sustainably in the future. If you're unsure how, check out INTO MIND's capsule wardrobe guides, which also come with handy printable checklists.

2. Get Creative
Now you've defined your style and chosen the key pieces that will form your capsule wardrobe, think about how you could refresh the things you're not so in love with any more. So many items can be given a new lease of life just by updating a small detail, such as distressing your jeans or changing the length of a skirt. You can even try bigger DIY projects, such as re-purposing an old shirt into an off-shoulder top, or shortening some trousers into this season's must-have culottes. Soon you'll be viewing your wardrobe as an endless source of creative possibilities, and be a sewing pro in no time!

3. Throw a Clothes Swap Party
For the things that no longer belong in your new, streamlined capsule wardrobe, why not invite your friends over and see if they can give your unwanted items a new home? Clothes swap parties have recently grown in popularity as a cheap and easy way of freshening up your wardrobe without the extra cost or clutter, inspired by Fashion Revolution Day. If you're lucky, you might just get your hands on that item you've been eyeing up for the last few months - just remember to follow the "one in, one out" rule so you don't end up taking home more than you brought with you.

4. Donate or Sell Good Quality Items
Good quality clothing, shoes and accessories can always be donated directly to those in need or to charity shops such as Oxfam, which use the proceeds to fund their work. Try to donate to somewhere with a clear policy on where the goods end up (read Oxfam's here), in order to minimize the amount sent to landfill or to developing countries, which research suggests is damaging domestic textile industries. Resale websites such as Vestiaire Collective, Vinted, Hardly Ever Worn It and Ebay are another great alternative, and make selling on your unwanted items easy for a small fee.

5. Recycle What's Left
Over the last few decades, the rapid increase in fast fashion and corresponding decrease in garment quality has meant that unfortunately, not every piece of clothing can be sold on or donated. For such items, have a look at what textile recycling facilities exist in your area, or try out some DIY home d├ęcor projects with the leftover fabric, such as colourful bunting, patchwork quilts, rag rugs or simple cleaning cloths. Why not go even further and set yourself a #zerowaste challenge??

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