Spring Cleaning Your Closet Responsibly

Spring cleaning also applies to your closet, and the best advice I’ve read is to get rid of one piece of clothing for each new item you add.  But the key is to “get rid” of clothing you no longer want responsibly by donating it to a worthy organization or recycling it.  There are several local companies that recycle clothing, including Remains Inc., plus others that you can easily find with a quick Google search.

According to the recent documentary, The True Cost, we’re buying more than 80 billion new items of clothing each year, we’re tossing nearly as much to make room for them.  We purchase 400 percent more clothing today than we did 20 years ago, largely because of the dropping cost of fashion.  The average American tosses 82 pounds of textile waste each year, which adds up to 11 million tons of the stuff from our country alone.  For the most part, these textiles aren’t biodegradable, which means they sit in landfills for at least 200 years. As a result, they release harmful gases into the air.

H&MFrom April 18 to April 24, H&M aims to collect 1,000 tons of unwanted garments from customers in its more than 3,600 stores worldwide. The initiative is part of H&M’s goal to close the loop in fashion by recycling garments to create reusable textile fibers.  You’ll find local H&M stores at Chesterfield Mall and West County Center.

To mark the first ever World Recycle Week, H&M is creating a viral campaign to generate a global recycling movement. A new video on hm.com, starring M.I.A., features a diverse supporting cast including models, actors, dancers, and social media mavens, who will take to their social channels leading up to World Recycle Week, encouraging everyone to participate in the #HMrehaul video call to action. The term rehaul is being exclusively used as the antithesis to a blogger haul video, which typically show items recently purchased. #HMrehaul videos will exhibit customers around the world filming the garments they intend to recycle followed by a drop off at their local H&M store’s collection bin, available in every store worldwide.

Since 2013, H&M customers have been invited to drop off garments from any brand and in any condition, to any H&M store. These garments are recycled into a second life, and customers are ensuring that fewer garments go into landfills. In return, U.S. customers who recycle receive a 15% discount to use towards their next purchase at H&M. During the World Recycle Week period, customers will receive a 30% coupon as a thank you for their participation.

Since first launching the Garment Collecting initiative, H&M has collected over 25,000 tons of clothing, and in 2014, introduced its first collection using recycled fibers from the donated garments to create a “Close the Loop” collection. Close The Loop is a central commitment to H&M’s Conscious Actions for sustainability. The purpose is to create a closed loop for textiles, so that unwanted clothes can be reused and recycled to create fresh fibers for new products, the company says.