I am a firm believer that you should regularly consult with & update your life and in my case, wardrobe
I believe this for a couple of reasons:
a) It's really important you've a full grasp of what is going on in there. It saves you the nightmare of having 6 of the same shirt you aren't that enamoured with clogging up shelf space; causing you to crush your favourite Linen t-shirt beyond saving!
(true Story - definitely learnt my lesson)
b) It helps you to clear your mind and therefore the rest of your life.
c) It's also a great opportunity to discover items you may have forgotten about. As a country, we collectively have around £30 billion worth of clothes hidden in the dark depths of our wardrobe. During a recent last clear out, I found a gorgeous tunic I had dreamt about; bought and promptly forgot about once it was in the abyss of my lockers.
d) It shames me (albeit temporarily) from buying anything frivolous; at least for a couple of months.
The UK throws out around £25 million of clothes each year; as a lover of clothes this upsets me, not just on a global level (it is a really horrible statistic) but on a rather selfish level too. I could be throwing enough money away to feed myself for a week! If I were to save that money I could buy an investment piece for my wardrobe, or add to my ever dwindling savings account (priorities, of course!)
Thankfully, a bevy of high street retailers are helping us to do something about the shame I feel and to keep us in the habit of recycling throw in a little incentive to sweeten the deal.
I have found some of the best ones, that not only make you feel a little bit better about the sixth time you've lost your mind on ASOS this month but could also save you some money. So not only are you doing the planet good, you are helping your wallet too.
Back to MAC
This is probably the most notorious recycling scheme. Everyone should know about Back to MAC; if you haven't heard of it... WHERE AN EARTH HAVE YOU BEEN?
This recycling program allows you to hand over your empty lipsticks, make up pans and nail polishes (it's primary packaging) and your reward for saving the environment is a free lipstick of your choice!
This is dangerous; because I often go in on 'Back to MAC' day and often leave with more than I went into recycle, which of course continues the cycle. I am big fan of their lipsticks, concealers and primers, so I make use of this one often!
And so should you!
Are you a fan of the cult scandi label & Other Stories as much as I am?
Every time I walk into their flagship on Regent Street, I ask myself why I haven't given up, quit my job and moved to Stockholm already!
Everything from their stellar collaboration with Rodarte, to their candles and handbags are 100% covetable.
This gem is part of the behemoth that is H&M but it's aesthetic is tightly curated and enviable.
In addition to the gorgeous clothes and accessories that should be in my wardrobe already (obviously these will not be forgotten in my wardrobe) is the frankly excellent news that they offer a pretty decent recycling policy.
You can return a single empty beauty container (Unlike Back To MAC) and you are rewarded with a 10% off voucher to use in store. The beauty of & Other Stories recycling scheme is that the policy also applies to clothes too! They don't even need to come from H&M brands;
simply fill up a bag full of your unloved clothes and get 10% off in-store!
Don't mind me, I am just off to donate (read: make room) my wardrobe in heated anticipation!
This scheme launched with great fanfare a couple of years ago but stealthily dropped off the radar, it is still going strong and I encourage you to look into it.
The same principle applies here as it does with & Other Stories; bring a bag of clothes in (again, they do no have to be from M&S exclusively) and get a £5 voucher for your troubles. All of the clothes are sorted, upcycled or resold via Oxfam so you know where your clothes may end up.
In some cases, you may not even have to leave the comfort of your own home. If you are getting furniture or a delivery from M&S. They can provide you with 'Shwopping' bags to return. super easy.
My money is on you spending your hard earned vouchers on the secret sanctuary that's the M&S lingerie department! (best undies ever!)
So there you have it. I am definitely due another clear out quite soon. Not only will I be saving the planet, but I will saving getting myself some savings on stuff I already want! I think the shame of the amount I am about to recycle will keep me off Oxford Street for at least a fortnight. Hopefully.
I'd like this to not be a flash in the pan; as this BoF Op-Ed suggests. In an effort to make my life (and by proxy yours) be more green I will show you how to update, tidy, organise and upcycle your way to help not only the environment, but your mind. Because if I am anything to go by, it will do the world (and planet) of good!