More consumers are moving away from fast fashion in favor of purchasing clothes from thrift shops and businesses that prioritize the well-being of the planet above their profit margins. But where you get your fashion fix is only part of the environmental problem when it comes to clothing.
Outside of garment production, which already has an enormous environmental impact, there is the issue of disposal. What do you do with clothes once you are done with them? Secondhand shops are a wonderful option for giving your lightly worn clothes a new life, but what about clothes that are stained, worn-in, or simply too shabby to wear?
Kristy Caylor founded For Days three years ago, a zero-waste fashion brand that provides a solution for ratty, threadbare garments that would otherwise end up in a landfill. She envisioned a brand that would incentivize its customers to not only shop responsibly but to find sustainable ways to dispose of their old clothes as well.
Just this past week For Days launched a new system called “Closet and Credit” that gives you store credit for sending them clothes you no longer wear. For filling up a “clean out crap” bag with clothes that were not purchased from For Days, you will receive a $10 credit. You receive more for returning For Days garments because the brand only makes clothes out of organic cotton. They use specialized technology to recycle their garments into new ones.
Clothing from other brands tends to use mixed fibers that can’t go through their recycling system, so instead of creating new garments out of these clothes, For Days partners with industrial recyclers that use the material for things such as insulation or furniture stuffing.
The fact that the fashion industry is developing recycling technologies that will become widely available in the next few years is great, but Caylor rightly points out that this is not enough. Brands need to incentivize people to send their clothes in rather than throw them out. Caylor hopes that the success of the For Days system will encourage other brands to do the same.