Americans throw away nearly 11.3 million tons of textile waste each year?  That equates to roughly 2,150 pieces of clothing per second.  Synthetic fabrics used in fast fashion account for one-fifth of all the plastic produced globally, exposing us to forever chemicals and filling the oceans with microplastics. The average American only wears a garment 7-10 times before throwing it away.  Only a very small percentage of discarded clothing is re-used or recycled. 

Below are some tips to help you shop smarter, lengthen the life of our clothes and commit to brands who put the welfare of their employees and the planet first. 

Do’s and Don’ts of Donating

DO imagine you are donating to a family member- items should be clean, undamaged and not too worn out

DO take into account the season- no puffer coats in the summer!

DO check for shoe & clothing recycling bins in your community for items that cannot be donated

DON’T forget to check what items they do not accept- these will be sent to the landfill/incineration (**Stuffed animals are not accepted in many places)

DON’T leave donation bags out in the elements if the roadside bin is too full

Downcycling at Home

Downcycling– the recycling of an item to a lower status, quality and function than the original product

Nice t-shirt: downgrades to workout gear, PJ’s, kid’s art smock

Pants too short = cut-offs!

Stained & damaged items: turn them into rags, pet towels, scraps for crafting/ repairing

Out of style dressy item: add to the kid’s dress-up bin

Tips for Washing your Jeans

Jeans only need to be washed every 10 wears

Wash jeans inside-out on cold water cycle

Air dry jeans and they will last much longer

Spot clean any areas with water and gently blot with a lint-free cloth, don’t rub

Between wears, hang jeans somewhere they can air out

General Tips

Need a fancy outfit for a one time event? Consider borrowing from a friend, heading to a thrift store or using a service like Rent the Runway

Wear your clothes more than once before washing. Yes, this is okay if they have not been soiled.  It helps preserve your clothing. 

Wash in cold water. This not only helps maintain the fabrics but also cuts down on energy use in your home. 

Natural Fabrics to look for: Cotton, wool, rayon, viscous, tensel

Local Thrifting

The Turnover Shop 
98 Old Ridgefield Rd
Wilton, CT 06897

Minks to Sinks
395 Danbury Road
Wilton CT 06897
Bi-Annual Event

Buy Nothing Wilton Facebook Group
Search for your local town on FB

Loop de Loop 
24 Danbury Rd.
Wilton, Ct 06897
Children and Maternity Consignment

Local Thrifting

Ridgefield Thrift Shop
21B Governor Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877

Once Upon A Child
67 Newtown Road
Danbury, CT 06810

Goodwill Donation Center & Thrift Stores
Search for locations

New Canaan Thrift Shop
2 Locust Ave
New Canaan, CT 06840

Apps and Websites to Buy, Sell or Get Credit for you Clothes


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