Why do we throw dirty clothes?

in life •  5 months ago

I recently started to wonder why am I throwing a perfectly good t-shirt just because it has a stain. It's an automated reflex to me - maybe lately changed a little to go into "donation" bin which really, I never get to so in reality I just a bigger pile of clothes that I do not wear nor throw away, but I digress - and I am sure to you and many other in the western world.

Shirt has a little tear or a hole? throw away.

Pants are discolored? Throw away.

Etc, etc. Everything that is not "clean" or in almost perfect shape..throw away. Unless, of course is that cool old appearance..that we now pay good money to buy it new..faded...old. That's so stupid.

Anyway, I was wondering what happens when I don't and just keep wearing it. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not wearing dirty clothes, just clothes that are stained or damaged in some way. Do I need to wear them? I mean, I have too many clothes so maybe not..but also, I am in a personal war with buying more and more and all the side effects of fast fashion are very true and very hard to live with. We are and I am part of the problem.


I noticed that there are two things going one:

#1. I am self-concious
I am anyway self-conscious but with dirty clothes I feel that I am not representing myself at my best so it's even more. Sure, I try to think that this is me going beyond appearance but then again, this matters a great deal in the world we live in and explaining my crusade against throwing good clothes is a bit heavy handed. Also, I don't have such a convincing case.

#2. People judge you

That was to be expected but it's still unpleasant. A look of pity that you wear this dirty t-shirt or that your nice black t-shirt has a hole. It feels like people are looking down on you and on what you say. At least around here.

In conclusion, I am trying to wear more of my clothes but I am not sure that this will be the best way to go around it. Maybe I should stop putting all my food on myself...
( or reuse old clothes or re-stitch and create something fun and wearable or stop caring so damn much! )

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I solved this problem by doing all of my clothes shopping at Walmart, now I don't feel bad about tossing out a stained or ripped garment, everything is so cheap at Walmart. If you feel guilty about it then donate them, in some places there are even clothes donation bins.


For me, is not exactly about money but bout the actual waste. even those cheap clothes were made with the same materials that are taxing the planet. In fact, I argue to buy less and more expensive...as espensive means better made, with more respect to materials and the planet...


I made the switch when I noticed the clothes at the mall were not any better quality, just higher markup. Clothes are recyclable. Whatever you donate that is not good enough to resell gets shredded up and made into new things.

It's actually a good practice because otherwise you end up with loads of clothes you don't wear cluttering up your wardrobe.

As far as the waste is concerned, I tend to use them as rags for my bike and other jobs around the house that I know I'll need such things for.

Also we have a charity shop just around the corner from me, so if it's not too badly damaged or dirty I chuck it in a bag which I leave by the door. Once it's full off it goes!

We have too much stuff man!



HA! i so damn agree. SO MUCH STUFF. I feel so guilty when I look online into what happens with all this western waste. Glad to hear you make do with what you have and come on, always buy a book over a new t-shirt! that's the new motto!


I recently just threw out/gave to charity a bunch of stuff, some of the clothes I'd had and not worn for around 10 years, yet there it was just sitting in my wardrobe! Like, what the hell man??? :-)