Over the past few years I’ve made a few changes to become more eco-friendly. I’ve really started thinking about ways we can lessen the damage to the environment from our household.
One thing that still astonishes me is how many clothes people throw into landfill. In 2016 300,000 tonnes of clothes went to landfill. This is crazy!
Did you know all clothes can be recycled? Even stained, ripped, worn out, useless clothes and textiles. In this blog post I'm going to share with you some of the many ways you can get rid of your old clothes and textiles without chucking them in the bin.
I’ll admit. I did throw out old socks with holes into the bin, but not anymore. Since discovering you can give them to the rag trade I no longer throw any textiles in the bin.
I would never have thrown out anything useful though. I always gave to charity or sold our unwanted clothes. It amazes me people still throw perfectly good textiles into landfill.
I was inspired to write this post after seeing a Facebook message of someone saying they’ll be binning some perfectly good clothes if no one wants them!
We need to stop with this binning things we don’t want culture and ruining the environment. Most things can be reused, given away or recycled. So think twice before you bin something.
How to stop clothes going to landfill
A very obvious one, but give your unwanted items to the charity shops. They’ll be grateful for your donation and you’ll be helping a good cause. They can also recycle anything useless – see the next point.
Even if your clothes are worn out, most charity shops can sell textiles to the rag industry. Just ask them. My local charity shop takes bags for rags and I expect most people don’t know this as there are no signs or anything. Don’t throw away any ruined textiles. Give them to your charity shop and let them sell them as rags. This is much better than items going to landfill. Even useless clothes can have a purpose and be reused.
If your clothes are in great condition or were quite expensive, consider selling them on eBay and making some pocket money!
Another great place to sell bundles of clothes or high quality items is Facebook marketplace. You can reach local people and they’ll even collect them from you.
If you live in the US there's a social selling platform for new and used clothes called Poshmark. You can even use a Poshmark bot to increase your sales and traffic through automation, making selling your clothes online easier than ever.
If your clothes are vintage then you can sell them on handmade and vintage marketplace Etsy.
Hand me downs
Consider holding onto your kids clothes to use as hand me downs for your younger children or their friends/cousins.
Behind most shops and at recycling centres are charity bins for clothes. Just bag up your unwanted textiles and post them in these boxes.
Rubbish removal service (that recycles)
There are many reputable rubbish removal services like kwiksweep in London who not only remove rubbish and junk from your home, but they reuse and recycle as much of it as possible. For the items they clear that are in good condition, they will pass them on to local charities, schools and businesses to give them a new life. It is only the items that can't be used that are taken to the recycling centres and waste management centres where as much as possible will be recycled. They say "We strive to clear all junk in an environmentally friendly manner, maintaining our position as one of the capital’s most eco-friendly rubbish removal firms."
Upcycle & reuse
Perhaps you love your white t-shirt, but the colour is a bit off now. Why not buy some dye and change its colour? Or turn that long skirt into a short skirt. See if you can upcycle your clothes and turn them into something you do want to wear.
Clothes drop off points
There are some clothes drop of points that you can sell your clothes to by weight. Bag them up and take them to be weighed. You’ll not get very much for them. We donated around 10 bin bags once and got about £10. But you get a little pocket money and your clothes get reused so it’s a win-win if you don’t have the time to sell them individually yourself and you need a little cash.
Use as cloths/rags/old clothes
Cut up some old clothes and use them as household cleaning cloths and rags. Keep a few back to use as painting or gardening clothes. Once totally tired out, then give them to the rag industry.
Clothes swap party
Organise a clothes swap party with your friends and family, or search on Google to find a public one.
Nearly new sale
For children’s clothes there are regular ‘nearly new’ sales organised as the clothes are grown out of so quickly and barely worn. You can sell the clothes yourself at a stall at some, but at others you price them up and leave them there, simply collecting any unsold clothes and your profits at the end of the day.
A good old car boot is the perfect place to sell clothes, have fun and make a bit of money. People are looking for serious bargains at car boots, so be prepared for lots of offers of only 20p!
Friends and family
Why not ask your friends and family if they’d like to look through your old clothes? My little sister used to love going through my unwanted clothes in our teens and twenties.
Hopefully you can now see there is no need to ever throw any textiles in the bin, ever! They can all be reused or recycled, no matter how useless you may think they are.
More fashion + clothing blog posts
More eco-friendly blog posts
Please pin me!