Re-Wear Old Clothes & Treat Polyester Responsibly
Hi everyone! I hope your week is going well so far. This is part 3 of my 10×10 capsule wardrobe challenge with floral pieces. In today’s post, I will showcase 2 outfit ideas to inspire you to re-wear old clothes that are not deemed as classic or timeless. Additionally, I will also explain why polyester is not sustainable and explore ways to treat old polyester clothes responsibly.
In case you missed the first part of this 10×10 capsule wardrobe challenge, you can go back to this post to see the 10 pieces I included.
In outfit 5, I am restyling this floral skirt from ZARA 5 years ago! Despite being worn for many years, the skirt is well kept because it is made out of polyester. While polyester is not a sustainable fabric, this synthetic fabric is so much sturdier than their sustainable counterparts such as linen and viscose. On the upside, polyester doesn’t shrink, pill up, or wrinkle easily, and it is low-maintenance and long-lasting. However, since polyester is a petroleum based synthetics, it will take at least 20 years and up to 200 years to decompose in landfills. A prolonged decomposition has many negative impacts on the environment such as toxic gas emission and soil contamination, etc. And so now, despite the many benefits polyester clothes may have, I gravitate toward sustainable and biodegradable fabrics such as organic cotton, tencel, and viscose, etc.
I bought this polyester skirt from ZARA 5 years ago not knowing its environmental consequences. But now that I already have the skirt, what can I do? If you also wonder the same thing, here are some actions you can take:
- Re-wear old clothes more often. For example, I have worn the same ZARA skirt here and here
- Donate or hand it down. Read this: Style Advice: 19 Different Ways to Sell, Recycle, and Donate Old Clothes
- Recycle. Even though polyester is not sustainable, it can be recycled and reused! Today, many fast fashion retail giants take back old clothes from consumers and recycle them. Besides H&M, companies such as American Eagle Outfitters, Eileen Fisher, Levi-Strauss & Co., Nike, The North Face, Patagonia, and Zara all collect old clothes in their stores. Nike even recycles old shoes as well!
Update: H&M Conscious actually makes clothes with recycled polyester. You can see their new line on their Conscious Exclusive.
In outfit 6, I am restyling this two-piece dress from VETTA. I pulled down both sleeves and wore it as an off-shoulder dress, as opposed to a one-shoulder dress you saw in the last post: Sustainable Fashio Review: VETTA Capsule wardrobe.
When I re-wear old clothes, I tend to add accessories to switch up the overall look and feel. What makes outfit No.6 drastically different from outfit No.3 is the pairing with a blue purse and nude heels. The different accessories made the look appear to be more casual and day-time friendly.
Further Read on Sustainable Fashion
If you are interested in learning more about waste textile and garment care, here are some good articles:
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this blog post! If you have any topics related to sustainable fashion that you want to know more about, please leave me a comment below!
Smile and style on!
Since majority of the clothes I wore here are old and sold out, I provided similar alternatives below that are sustainable (either made ethically or made with biodegradable fabrics):