“Waste not, want not” is an old saying but it still holds true today. These are some of the bloggers we’ve seen proving it during the past month.
Karen at N4 Mummy says: “If we can recycle our used clothes so they don’t end up in landfill, we’ll be doing everyone a favour.” And she has a few ideas of where to take those unwanted clothes – including some ideas for making money from them.
Another parent blogger, Becky at Baby Budgeting, makes the case for passing on your old children’s clothing. In her blog post The 3 things I wish I had bought preloved for my baby, top of the list is baby clothes. After all, she reasons, "If I was happy to take hand me down clothes from friends why on earth wouldn’t I consider buying pre-loved outfits rather than new?" And because babies grow so quickly, you can buy good quality, nearly-new baby clothes for a low price.
A good tip for buying second-hand is to buy out of season, according to the Two Thousand Pennies blog. Blogger Ms Thrifty found a Scandinavian-style jumper in a car boot sale for £1, and says: "I know that is rather an odd purchase to make in the middle of August, but buying items out of season always makes good economical sense." (This month’s new word is “downcycling”: she removed the sequins because she thought the jumper would look better without the bling.)
Of course, it is almost time to start thinking about our autumn/winter wardrobes and one way of doing it is to see how you can adapt what you’ve been wearing in the summer.
Porcelina at Porcelina’s World has been blogging about her favourite summer dresses. “What a waste to only wear some dresses once a year,” she says. “Time to change that – I am already planning how to wear this dress for autumn, perhaps with tan boots and a cropped cardigan."
Alexandra at The Frugality has come up with 5 items from S/S that will work for A/W. She says: "I've been thinking about the A/W trends in a way I can relate to...and what I really want to know is what I can keep hold of from last season.” She’s made a list of some key pieces that you can carry on wearing after the summer, and how to make them work – and stay fashionable – for the colder months.
Another way to make the most of old clothes is to turn them into something new. We’re loving The Refashioners series on the Makery blog, a blogger challenge where each participant has to refashion a man's shirt. There have been so many wonderful remakes it is hard to pick our favourites but we particularly liked Dixie's peplum top and stripey shorts, Sarah's embellished shirt and Sasha’s corset-inspired blouse.
Upcycling clothes is a popular hobby but there is, of course, more to it than that. Jenna at the Kecks Online blog wants to reclaim upcycling from the quaint TV lifestyle shows: "upcycling and re-use is for everyone" she says, "Textile waste in the UK is just unfathomable. Re-use should be an active fundamental of all of our lifestyles.”
Re-use is key to the Clotho business and when you run a business like that, sustainability has to be part of your whole life. We loved the Clotho Girls’ blog post Diary of A Sustainable Singleton, which ponders what happens when you put "eco warrior" into your dating profile.
We like what they say about waste, too: "They say that youth is wasted on the young. But like any other finite resources, we live by the Clotho mantra and make sure not to waste a drop of it."