Hey! Ladies get in here! …gentlemen also. Today, I have something interesting to share with you, one that will help you stop wasting resources, save, stay in vogue and finally conserve our planet earth. Are you all ready and excited to hear what I have to share? Well… I am just as excited as you are but before we get to that, let’s do a little analysis.
According to Forbes, an average person spends more than 5% of their income on a monthly basis trying to buy new apparels. It is good to look neat, attractive and whatever feeling of gratification you get from looking good; but have you thought of saving that amount of money that goes into wears? You probably have bigger dreams to achieve and part of that might require money. You can start attaining that height today by cutting down on your spending. One very important way to save (both the environment and our pocket) is by REUSING. One may ask, what is Reusing? Reusing is the act or practice of using something again, whether for its original purpose (conventional reuse) or to fulfil a different function. Reusing is a form of waste management and you know what they say about waste? The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it at all.
Here are reasons why you should reuse:
- By reusing apparels, you save the environment. I know, right? Kill two birds with one stone! A lot of these apparels are made of organic material, meaning that it is derived from natural sources and are biodegradable. When we dispose these apparels through Landfill, they are broken down through anaerobic digestion. This process results in the emission of dangerous greenhouse gases that, in a landfill, are largely uncontrolled and end up escaping into the atmosphere, accelerating climate change. However, production of these apparels can also contribute largely to the destruction of the environment because in the process of production, untold amounts of pollutants are likely being deposited into local soils and waterways.
- Reusing helps you to maintain a simple lifestyle. It helps reduce cost consumerism and waste. Yeah, I mean that. Instead of being a spendthrift, you can make something out of what you have – create your own brand. This empowers you and still enables you maintain your style. For example, you can turn an old T-shirt to a crop top or an Off-shoulder top and within a snap, you have a new top! You see? You would have saved some extra bucks. You can also turn old jean trousers to hot bum shorts and there… you have a new party wear. I bet you have not thought of dyeing your old sneakers to another colour or something trendy… Oh my! What are you waiting for?
- You can create a sustainable market that is both cheap and fashionable by reusing. Reusing can however be done in different forms and can be classified into formal, semiformal and informal reuse. Formal reuse involves second hand shops (Okirika as we call them in Nigeria) and store deposit systems. You can sell some of your clothes to developing countries where they support local businesses. In return, you help create job for those that needs it and make some extra cash. Cool, isn’t it? Semiformal reuse involves selling to some popular online malls like ebay, Blocket and Tradera. There are requirements your apparels have to meet and after that, they buy from you and resell. Similarly, Slot Nigeria recently launched a system where you can trade in your old gadgets and electronics and if it meets their requirements, you get paid. Of course, there is also the informal reuse and this involves children inheriting clothes from other siblings and or friends sharing clothes. Sound familiar, right?
- Reusing allows you to get crafty. Yes! There are lots of things you can do with your old apparels. For example, you can make carpets, doormats, laundry bags, hair bands and scarfs from your old clothes. You can also make throw pillows or stuffed animals from your old clothes. Ladies, you know how expensive it is to get new weaves right? Think about how much you can save from reusing your old extensions. You can curl and dye a straight hair extension or straighten a curly extension. Okay, quick tip for that tangled extension. Don’t throw it away yet… boil in hot water, wash with shampoo and conditioner, remember not to squeeze. Allow to dry and voilà! There goes your new extension. You can also donate your old extensions to companies that make dolls. Finally, I read an article that featured a 21-year-old Ghanaian lady, Mabel Suglo who founded a company that employs disabled people to manufacture shoes from tyres and recycled materials. Reusing makes you creative and allows you become eco-friendly.
That being said, there are few things you can do the next time you feel like throwing out your old clothes or going on a shopping spree;
- Check out some local thrift shops (okirika)
- Donate your old clothes to orphanages, Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, or high schools for sewing classes
- Donate your old wears to be used by character in movies
- Check out some DIYs on how to create a new thing with your old apparels.