Figuring Out What to do With Old Clothes and How to Recycle Them

Figuring Out What to do With Old Clothes and How to Recycle Them

A dilemma all of us face: what to do with our old clothes. Each year you come across clothes that we realize you don’t need anymore, whether it is because they don’t fit, they are out of style or you simply don’t need anymore. Luckily, there are easy ways of figuring out what to do with old clothes and how to recycle old clothes.

Though they may be hard to part with your clothes, you don’t need to keep every piece you own. Getting rid of clothes will help clear up your closet, giving you more room for the things you actually need. Fortunately, there are many uses for old clothes, so you don’t have to throw them out and feel guilty.

Textile Recycling

Textile recycling is a great and easy way to get rid of your old clothing. Textile recycling repurposes your old clothes to have a new life. There are generally drop off boxes in most cities that will accept your old clothes.

Sending your clothes to textile recycling is helpful to the environment. Textile recycling reduces pollution, avoids virgin fibers, reduces the use of energy and water, decreases landfill space and reduces the demand for making more clothing dyes.

Figuring Out What to do With Old Clothes and How to Recycle Them

When clothes are added to landfills, they take up a large amount of space. Some materials, such as synthetic fibers, do not decompose and may release greenhouse gases. This can have a negative impact on the environment.

When clothes are donated to textile recycling, about 50% of them are reused and 50% of them are recycled. Over 60% of recycled clothes are sent to people in other countries. In some countries in Africa, up to 80% of people wear recycled clothing.

The clothes that are unable to be reused are recycled into other goods. Clothes are sorted based on their material, conditions and dye. Recycled clothes can be turned into new clothes, car upholstery and household items, amongst other things.

What to do With Old Clothes and How to Recycle Them

You may not realize it, but there are actually many things you can do with your old clothes. Whether they are still in good condition or are full of stains and tears, there can still be a use for them. Recycling old clothes is a great way to put them to a new use and avoid adding more trash to landfills.

1. Donation

Donating is another great way to give your old clothes a new life. If your clothes are still in good condition, they can be given to someone in need. This is a great way to get rid of your clothes that are in good condition, but you no longer have a need for them.

There are many stores, such as Goodwill and Salvation Army, that will gladly accept your old clothes. From there, they sell clothes they deem are in good condition and the clothes that they do not sell they recycle.

Figuring Out What to do With Old Clothes and How to Recycle Them

There are also many local resale shops that will accept donated clothes and sell them at a discounted price. Most places that take donated clothes and sell them at a low price and donate the money to charity, giving back to the community.

Many churches and non-profit organizations will accept old clothes as donations. They then often give the clothes out to members of the community in need or send them to other countries where they can be used.

Many places are happy to get your old clothes that can be given to people in need. In some cases, you may even get a tax deduction for your donation.  

2. Reuse Them for Household Rags

You don’t necessarily have to take your old clothes to recycling boxes or donation centers to have them repurposed. For some of your really old clothes, you can turn them into rags to use around the house.

You can use an old t-shirt as a rag to wash your windows, counters and wood furniture. You can use an old sock to dust blinds and pictures.

Not only does turning your old clothes into rags allow you to repurpose them for cleaning, but it also saves you money from buying cleaning products. In addition, it keeps the clothes out of landfills and the household products you’d buy and likely throw out after a few uses out of the landfills, a win-win.  


3. Reselling Your Nice Clothing

For your nice clothes that are in good condition that you either no longer need or no longer fit, you can resell. Reselling old clothes allows you to free up closet space and make some extra money.

Many cities have thrift stores or resale shops that will buy your clothes off you or let you sell them with a commission. There are even online websites, such as Poshmark and ThredUp where you can safely sell your old clothes. Many people also sell clothes through eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

Buying and reselling old clothes has become a popular practice. People are able to buy nice clothes at a discount and people are able to sell their old clothes that are still nice for some extra cash.

Figuring Out What to do With Old Clothes and How to Recycle Them

4. Host a Clothing Swap

Clothing swaps are a type of party where people bring some of their unwanted clothes to trade with family and friends. It’s a great way to get rid of clothes you don’t need and find some clothes you are looking for. Many people host clothing swaps as a fun way to change up their wardrobe.

Helping People and the Environment

Instead of throwing out your old clothes, there are many different ways you can put them to good use. Whether you drop a bag off at a textile recycling box, donate them to those in need, share them with friends and family, sell them or repurpose them for rags, there are several options for keeping your old clothes out of landfills.

Not only does getting rid of old clothes help you, but it can also help other people and the environment. Please comment if you have any questions or any regards on what to do with old clothes.

The best ways to reuse and recycle old clothes include:

  • Textile recycling
  • Donating
  • Selling
  • Repurposing into rags
  • Clothing swapping
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