October 2019

Make room for slow fashion this fall

(NC) Increasingly, fashion designers, retailers and shoppers are looking for ways to make wardrobes more sustainable.

Each year, it’s estimated that globally, the fashion industry produces 92 million tonnes of waste. Here at home, Canadians each throw away an average of 37 kilograms of textiles every year, most of which can be reused or recycled.

Slow fashion counters the rapidly produced and inexpensive mass market trendy fashion pieces that retailers are selling that contribute to increased waste. To address this, shoppers are looking to extend the life of clothes and accessories.

Consumers and clothing manufacturers are moving towards buying and making quality or longer-lasting textiles that are produced with fair treatment of people, the environment and animals.

To make your wardrobe more sustainable, you can reuse, recycle or upcycle.

Upcycle: Make something new out of the old. There are many online DIY videos to show you how. Or, consider using a local tailor. Transform an oversized pair of jeans into a denim skirt. Use an old t-shirt to make a reusable shopping bag or a rag for polishing. Take an old sweater and make some mittens.

Reuse: Join clothing swap groups or make your own with friends to discover new fashion finds without spending a dime. Look for classic and well-made pieces. Get each person to bring 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.

Recycle: Donate your unwanted fashions to a reputable organization like Diabetes Canada, which has recycling boxes for unwanted textiles. This includes accessories, bags and clothing, as well as curtains, shoes and even sleeping bags. You can schedule a 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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