Photo by S. Laiba Ali on Unsplash


A lot of us want to do good. If we can fulfill our wants and do something good…well, the latter might end being the justification for the former (I had to buy it because they doubled my donation). What we hate more than anything is when we thought we were doing something good and found out we were tricked or, even worse, we caused infinite damage in the process.

I find myself continuously being held victim to the sustainable hoodwink, and it’s a struggle to continue on the circular straight and narrow.

Here’s an example. Once I have no use for clothing, I first try to see if anyone else wants it. No immediate takers? Reluctantly, I pass it on to some charitable organization and will temporarily feel good about my choice and action


I find out that this NGO threw it in the “no use” pile and sent my old clothes to the incinerator


they packed up my leftover threads and sent them to someplace in the Global South, where the local textile market is ruined due to my “generosity” (and tons of CO2 wasted to boot!)

What could have made this experience better?

  1. Were there other options? Solutions come in droves….if you let them. Maybe there is someone in your community who could use the material for upcycling (creating something new and different out of something that is traditionally discarded)?
  2. How can I make informed decisions at the point of sale? Do I only care about the life of the garment after I’m done with it? What about how it was produced? How much CO2 was used creating it, to begin with? Working conditions, or it’s always justified as long as I can get it for $5 (or less)?
  3. If designed properly, you could even throw your used clothes on the compost bin. That should not be our first choice, but it sure beats the pants (no pun intended) off of sending it thousands of kilometers to decimate the conditions of local entrepreneurs.

Yes, folks. There are circular solutions out there. We have to start making demands to those establishments we patronize.