Priyanka Chhaparia

Research Fellow

17 February 2020

“I am going to wear this dress when I lose some weight.” Replace the dress with denim/top/t-shirt/jacket/sweater/kurta and you have yourself a whole wardrobe waiting for you to shed that weight. It is a pretty common thought. We hoard clothes for various reasons, sometimes in anticipation of the weighing scale tilting to the left or waiting for that special occasion. We do not realise the waste of money and space that these clothes bring about.
To make sure that your clothes see the light of the day, you could give your clothes away to people, who would actually use them. Right from my childhood, my mother recycled clothes, by not just handing me down my sister’s clothes but also my brother’s. I have inherited this quality from her and benefitted a lot over the years. In childhood, it was my sister’s clothes that kept me happy, but as I outgrew her (height-wise), I found other sources. I have never shied away from accepting clothes bought or owned by someone else. If you see my cupboard now, it is full. Full of fancy clothes I have gladly accepted from different sources, the major contributor being my aunt. These clothes are not torn, not faded, not worn out. I learnt from my aunt that do not wait for the whites to go yellow, or the buttons to go rusty. Give your clothes away when they still are in wearable condition.
Some people get offended if you offer them pre-owned clothes. I wonder why? I think it is a matter of personal bonding and friendship, and sustainability of course. Now there are websites which offer pre-owned or “pre-loved” clothes and accessories. I think it is a great initiative to revive the traditional practice that I am sure everybody has been a part of at some point in their lives. The practice of recycling starts from home. You do not have to limit the recycling to clothes; you can also give away other items which you are not using anymore or do not plan to use. There are collection drives also, wherein you can give away your clothes, bags, shoes etc. etc. When we think about sustainability, the small efforts made at individual level go a long way. As righty put by Jean Paul Ritcher, Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good action; try to use ordinary situations
“NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of CRB.”