Where do the unwanted clothes go?

Something I have been thinking a lot about since I started sewing is where does the clothes I do not want to keep or have not sold yet, end up?

In 2020 I stared to reorganize my wardrobe because I had nothing to do when I became unemployed and the pandemic did not make it easier to do anything at all because of lockdown. Before I started for real to sew my own clothes, I only sew clothes sometimes and had decided in the autumn of 2019 to try to learn to sew with jersey fabrics and using an overlock machine, if I would end up getting unemployed.  

I focused on sewing plushies at first but it became too hard to sell when I did not get another chance to join any Christmas markets in 2020. Still I have not done that this year either but I have had two days with showing off the clothes I made this year.

There you have another reason why I started my project: Sew 80% of your own clothes!

It has been over two years since I started and I have not really finished that project but I believe if give myself enough time and if I find the right patterns I think I will soon enough have made 80% of the clothes I own.

However, I did have to “throw out” my old clothes that I had bought to get my own handmade clothes a place. I felt bad because it is not good for the environment, and I could not stop thinking that I am one of the reasons that we are using too much water by washing the fabrics before sewing, ordering good quality fabrics that needs to be shipped to me by a truck and maybe on a plane aswell. Even if I order 90% of every materials here in Norway to avoid unnecessary emissions and to do my best with supporting smaller or local business here.

I had to try to not think too much about it as it made me feel guilty for not doing my part to stop mass production. When I sew something that did not go as planned or is not my size but is a good product, I try to sell it. When the product stays too long and take up too much space in my sewing room, I have to get “rid of it”. My way is not to throw it out as thrash but to donate it. I personally feel it is better to donate unwanted clothes. I have always donated clothes when I do not want them anymore and before doing that I always look at it to see if I need to fix it first. Here in Norway you can donate when it is broken too but I have to be honest and write that I am not so sure if they are recycle the broken fabrics like they did before.

Why do I write this? Because I have been thinking about it a lot since 2020 and I feel like my head is going to explode if I do not get to tell anyone what I think about it. We all have to do our best, and I wish we could have had a better system for donating clothes or fabrics at all. In addition, it would have been nice to have a better way to recycle fabrics at all.

On our donate boxes in Norway, they tell us that we can deliver any kind of fabrics, new, old, broken or just fabric scraps. They will sort all of the fabrics that are being donated, but in the spring of 2020 they started to have trouble with accepting textiles, well it was said in the newspaper I read at that time. I think it was because they did not have time and people to do it and they got too much broken textiles than they were prepared for. I hope we can find a solution to These kinds of problems soon.

What do you think? Do you have the same problem where you live? Or do you not think too much about it?


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