Trying to lead a more sustainable lifestyle? Start with your clothes

(NC) More and more fashion brands are making efforts to create their products in sustainable ways. But beyond choosing to buy from environmentally conscious companies, there is a lot we can do to protect the earth by using what’s in our closets already.

The reality is that Canadians throw away an average of 37 kilograms of textiles every year, most of which can be reused or recycled.

Before you dump your clothes, shoes and other textiles into the trash to end up in landfills, consider these tips on how to create your own sustainable wardrobe:

Reuse: Organize a clothing swap with family and friends and discover new fashion finds without spending a dime. Get each person to bring over five to 10 pieces they no longer wear that are still in good condition and let the swapping begin. For items that don’t get swapped, recycle.

Repurpose: Get those creative juices flowing and make something new out of the old. Transform a jean jacket into a vest. Use an old t-shirt to make the ideal rag for polishing wood or cleaning mirrors. Or cut up other old clothing to use for stuffing pillows or making scented drawer sachets.

Recycle: Donate last year’s fashions to a reputable organization like Diabetes Canada, which has recycling boxes specially for unwanted textiles. This includes accessories, bags and clothing, as well as curtains, shoes and even sleeping bags. You can schedule a free home pickup or deposit items at one of its 2,000 donation bins in Ontario. Find information on what can be donated and schedule a donation at


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