Many of us are having a good sort through our wardrobes at this time of year, out with the old – in with the new, and find many things that no longer fit, still have the tags on, or aren’t in the best condition. This jumper falls into the latter category. So what do we do with all of the clothes we no longer want? And what am I going to do with this jumper?
If clothes are in good, wearable condition my first call is the charity shop. I buy a lot from charity shops and like to donate back when I can. The charity gets money from the sale, somebody gets a bargain, and the clothes don’t end up in the landfill – it’s win, win, win. But what if the clothes are damaged?
Take this jumper for example.
I bought it from a charity shop, wore it once and managed to dip the sleeve in a cup of coffee and didn’t rinse it out quick enough. I then snagged part of it on a branch, tearing the arm-hole seam. And I somehow managed to shrink it in the wash, even though I always wash at 30 degrees. In an attempt to stretch it back into shape I pulled the hem into a saggy, wavy kind of mess (Note to self: take better care of jumpers). These were my options:
- Donate to charity – but hang on before you think it’s that simple. Most charity shops will not sell damaged clothing so it gets sent to a ‘cash for clothes’ type place where they’ll get a few pence per kilo, however, many of these places have also stopped accepting damaged clothing. Where does the stuff end up then? In the bin and heading to landfill. It’s best to check with your local charity shop what happens to clothes they can’t sell.
- Take to H&M – yep! I don’t know if you’ve heard about it but H&M are running a Garment Collecting intiative. Take a bag full of your old clothes in whatever condition to H&M and they’ll put them to good use. Good quality clothing is sent to developing countries and sold as second hand clothing. Anything damaged is recycled into yarn. The worst of the stuff is used to create things like insulation! And the bonus? You get a £5 voucher to be used against any £25+ purchase in store. H&M rates pretty highly on www.ethicalconsumer.org too, so you needn’t feel horrendous about shopping there.
- Failing that – make it into something else! Even if it’s rags for cleaning, any reuse keeps the clothing away from landfill and reduces demand for whatever it is you would buy if you weren’t reusing your saggy old jumper. If you’re me, or pretty savvy with a sewing machine, you could even make your own gloves…
I’m pretty over the moon that I could reuse this jumper. I love the pattern and didn’t want to lose it. I also didn’t want the whole thing going to landfill. What do you think?
If you’re a fan then you’re in luck. I managed to get two pairs out of this jumper, and only having one pair of hands I don’t need them both. You can find the ones modelled in the photos available to buy in my Etsy shop! I’ve still got a fair bit of the jumper left to play with so I’m playing around with a few ideas – snood perhaps? Leave your suggestions in the comments!
*Update – find out what I’ve done with the rest of the jumper here *