Reduce, Reuse…Rethink
May 4, 2021




We’ve all seen these words plastered on billboards, hung up in cafeterias, and displayed in our office printer rooms (pre-Covid, of course!). While we might not have thought of it yet, this simple philosophy encourages us to lead a more sustainable life in other ways than using less paper, or wasting less food. It also applies to the items in our closets…with a few small twists!

Without further ado, here are 4 easy (and basically free) ways you can rethink your wardrobe. 

1. Reduce 

Marie Kondo said it best: as a general rule of thumb, only keep the things that *spark joy* in your life. Do you have 10 white tees hanging in your closet? That’s a sign that it’s time for a clean up. (Hint: you only need 2 or 3 at MOST!)

To begin decluttering, gather clothing that you may not need or want anymore. Good candidates are items that:

  • a) you don’t wear all that often, 
  • b) you have too many versions of (i.e. those 10 white tees), and/or
  • c) are too worn out to repair

Then, responsibly get rid of them! If your clothes are in good condition, take them to a thrift store or find them a new home in your friend’s closet. You can also donate them to a local organization in need. 

Trust us, Marie would be proud. We’re proud of you, too!

2. Redesign

You might be thinking, “wait…what if I don’t want to give my whole closet away?” We get it, we’re attached to our clothes, too!

If you want to keep most of your items, consider redesigning them into pieces you’ll wear more often. Are you dying to wear those jeans, but have never gotten around to getting them hemmed? Did you toss a cardigan to the side simply because it’s missing a button? Whether you need a professional tailor’s help or can solve a clothing mishap with your sewing machine at home, it’s worth the effort. You’ll find “new” ways to wear old pieces that you love the most. 

If you’re feeling creative, you can even get artsy with it! Our personal DIY favorites are:

  • 1. Changing the neckline or hem on a t-shirt (all you need is a good pair of scissors!)
  • 2. Dyeing pretty much anything (this can range from tie-dyeing a t-shirt to giving your favorite pair of jeans a new color wash)
  • 3. Adding a frayed hem to your jeans to give them a fresh new look

3. Repurpose

Been there, done that? You can also turn sentimental items into a new item altogether! If you have old t-shirts that you don’t wear anymore, but still want to hold on to, transform them into a cozy blanket! 

You can either do this on your own, or send your shirt swatches to a company like Project Repat. They turn old t-shirts into lasting memories that you can enjoy every time you curl up on the couch. Or check out Psychic Outlaw, who takes vintage quilts and makes them into one-of-a-kind jackets. 

Patchwork makes the dream work.

4. Recycle!

Remember all of those white tees you had in your closet? We bet some of them are a little worn out — both figuratively AND literally. If some of your items have seen better days, take them to a textile recycler so they can be disposed of responsibly.

If you don’t live near a recycling facility, try your local mall. Did you know that certain retailers like Madewell or Nordstrom will do the job for you? Check to see if you can send or bring in your used clothing items to be recycled or repurposed. Who knows where your tees might end up…they could be turned into a whole new outfit for someone else to enjoy! And sometimes, it pays to be kind to the planet. You might even get a store credit or discount voucher out of your recycling trip!

So, just remember: by putting even a little more effort into organizing your closet, thinking twice before you buy something new, and deciding how to bid farewell to unwanted items, you can easily do your part to save the planet.


Green Team

Written by Jess Owens

Founder & CEO at Greenlist