For Jeanette, being responsible means saving food, energy, water, clothing and all other resources involved in life at home. She mainly buys secondhand clothing, which she started doing in the 1990s and never stopped. ‘The textile industry is the second most dirty after the oil industry. We can make a huge change by shifting our fashion behaviours and reducing what we buy.’ Check out how she makes the most of her family’s clothing.
JEANETTE AIRS OUT CLOTHES instead of washing them all the time. The closet next to her bedroom has crisp fall and winter air, so she hangs clothes there. Otherwise, she hangs outdoors when the weather’s good. ‘We save about a third of our clothes from the wash and do a maximum of two loads a week—to wash by colour not because the machine’s too full.’
EJA INHERITS LOTS OF CLOTHES FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Jeanette sorts the clothes according to size and season and puts everything in labelled boxes. When Eja grows into a new size, Jeanette pulls out the right box from the closet and Eja puts her too-small clothes in a fabric bag. Then the outgrown clothes go on to younger cousins, friends or donations. ‘If Eja gets too big for clothing she really loves, I try make it into something else like furniture for her dollhouse.’
SEEING WHAT CLOTHES THEY HAVE is important to Jeanette and her family, so they buy only what they absolutely need. That’s why Jeanette uses lots of labels and keeps their clothes in open storage like SKUBB boxes. There aren’t any clothes hidden away in drawers. If they do need something, then it’s off to the secondhand shops. ‘It’s like being on a hunt. It’s so much fun to find the right things.’
Ready for more ideas to bring home? Check back in an upcoming post for Jeanette’s quick and easy ideas you wouldn’t expect.