The world’s largest online consignment and thrift shop, ThreadUp, recently launched a Fashion Footprint Calculator that allows users to calculate the carbon impact of their closets and identify tangible ways to make more sustainable fashion choices.

With nearly 230,000 tons of clothing and textiles disposed of each year here in Massachusetts, 95% of which could have been reused or converted in other products including shop rags and insulation, it’s clear we need to rethink our relationship with our closet.


  • Be mindful of your purchases. Shopping can be a form of therapy, but resist the impulse to buy cheaply made clothes on the discount rack that you don’t really need or want. Do you need it? Do you love it? Can you do without it?
  • Buy secondhand first. Shopping secondhand, whether at your local thrift or consignment store, or online – you can find one-of-a-kind gems at a fraction of the retail price tag.
  • Buy good quality that lasts. Forego the ‘fast fashion’ bargains. Buy good quality clothes that you can wear longer. Challenge yourself to wear an item at least 30 times. Taking good care of your clothes and repairing garments are key ways we can meet this challenge.
  • Repair, repair, repair.  Hone your sewing skills by sewing on your own button or repairing holes. Youtube has many helpful tutorials on sewing. Or, support your local business and take it to a tailor for repair.
  • Recycle at the end. Unusable clothing and textiles can be given new life as insulation, rags, and more. The City of Newton offers curbside collection service through Helpsy. Make an appointment and set out on the curb.

See more in the latest Recycle Smart Newsletter.