by Carly Foubert, CFICE Communications RA

Now that winter is settling in and you’re adjusting nicely to the temperature. Unpacking winter clothing and sweaters, it’s time to retire your summer clothing. *sigh*

Before you do though, take some time to sort through it. Is there anything that you don’t wear anymore? That doesn’t fit? That’s damaged or ripped? Is there anything that’s just taking up space in your closet or dresser that you know you won’t wear next summer?

Today let’s set some time aside to go through your summer clothing and pack it away for the winter.  

Begin by setting piles of what you wear, what you don’t, and what needs repair.  If there is  anything that doesn’t fit in one pile, consider making a “Tentative Pile” so that you can think about it and go back to in a couple days when you’ve decided what pile it belongs in.


Locations of Canadian Diabetes Association Clothing Drop Boxes in Ottawa

The clothing that you are keeping can be packed away and stored for the winter and the clothing that you don’t want to keep can be boxed or bagged and donated to a secondhand clothing store to give the clothing a second life. If you’re having trouble finding a drop off location, many second hand stores have drop off bins in store.  There are also other drop off bins located throughout cities. Canadian Diabetes Association is one example and you can always find a bin near you by using their search tool: Find a Clothesline Drop Bin.

Next take a closer inspection of the clothing in the damaged pile, is it repairable? Is it worth repairing? Would you wear it even if it was repaired?

Recycling textiles is fast becoming a new frontier in reducing waste. 85% of the clothing that we discard makes its way to landfills, what many people don’t realize is that it’s possible to recycle clothing.  

a cardboard box with things in itClothing is recycled just the same way as donating to second hand store. Many people are unaware that you can donate clothing that isn’t in top or perfect condition. The city of Markham is implementing a textile recycling program and are working with the Salvation Army to bring awareness to residents regarding textile recycling. Items donated are sorted in a large warehouse; quality clothing is able to be sold at second hand stores where the money from sales can then be donated to support families in need.  The clothing that is unsellable is packaged into large bales and sold outside of Canada or turned into other items such as rags or other fibre-based materials.