7 Ways to Recycle Clothes You Don’t Wear Anymore
Your closet is jam-packed with clothes. No matter how much you try to finagle room for your new stuff, you can’t seem to find the space. It’s time to sort through everything and figure out what you don’t need anymore.
Instead of tossing your old clothes to the curb, why not give them to someone who needs them? There are tons of organizations that will recycle clothes and use them for good. It’s a much better alternative than letting your shirts and pants sit in a landfill somewhere.
Check out this guide to learn how to recycle old clothes and reduce your carbon footprint while helping others.
- Sort Through Them
Before you can start researching recycling opportunities, you have to figure out what you don’t need. Grab three boxes and label them “keep”, “donate”, and “toss”. The clothes that you intend to put back in your closet will go in the keep box.
The donate box will contain clothes that are still in good shape. You just don’t want them or can’t fit into them anymore. Your torn and unsalvageable clothes will go in the toss box.
Keep in mind that even though you can’t donate the clothes in the toss box, you can still recycle them. There are companies that will take your holey jeans and you can even use them around the house.
- Textile Recycling
Textile recycling isn’t as easy as taking your clothes to the dump and forgetting them. You’ll have to do some research to find a clothing recycling bin in your area. The good news is that websites exist that will tell you where to go.
You don’t have to be picky about which clothes you throw in the textile recycling bin. They take everything. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pair of shoes your dog chewed up or a pair of jeans with a giant hole.
- Donate the Clothes
If you can’t find a textile bin in your area or getting to one would require you to drive too far, you can always donate the clothes to places like Goodwill. The clothes you give to them don’t have to be in prime selling condition. You can give them your ripped-up clothes.
They’ll take them and give them to textile companies in exchange for cash that they can put toward charities. You can also pass your old clothes down to family members who need them.
Host a fun clothing swap party. Have a bunch of your friends dig through their closets and bring their old clothing. You can sift through everything and exchange your old clothes for new ones.
That won’t help you make room in your closet but it’s an interesting way to get new stuff while getting rid of the old.
- Take Them to a Thrift Store
Buying and donating to thrift stores is one of the best ways to buy more sustainably. Thrift stores get way more donations than they know what to do with but they do sort through everything. Again, clothes that they can’t put on the salesfloor get recycled.
We will say that not all stores take ripped clothes. You’ll have to ask before you bring in your big bag of recycled material clothing.
It’s good to ask in-depth questions regardless if they take ripped clothing or not. You want to make sure that they don’t just toss them out. That defeats the purpose of the clothes recycling drop off.
- Brand-Name Stores Can Help Too
Thrift stores aren’t the only ones that recycle old clothes. Some brand-named stores are in on it too. Places such as H&M won’t only take your stuff and find ways to recycle it. They’ll also give you compensation for it.
Stores like American Eagle Outfitters have a program where they take ripped up clothes and give them to companies to use as housing insulation.
- Compost Them
If you have a garden, you can use your old clothing as compost material to nourish your plants and help them grow. Having compost also keeps plant diseases and pests away. So, it’s pretty beneficial to have one.
There is only one rule with using your clothes for compost material. The clothes have to be made out of natural materials such as cotton. If they contain even the slightest bit of synthetic material, don’t use them.
You’ll also have to rip all the zippers and buttons off before you shred the clothes and throw them in the compost with old food scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, nutshells, paper, leaves, and whatever else you can find.
- Repurpose Your Clothes
You can never have too many rags to clean with. Cut your old clothing into squares and use it to wipe down the dirty surfaces in your home.
If you’re handy with a needle and thread, you can get a little creative. Turn your old clothes into a quilt or a set of pillows that you can throw on the bed You can even use your old clothes as a material to make new outfits and purses.
Recycle Clothes Instead of Throwing Them Out
Is your closet starting to get a little full? It’s time to do a purge and get rid of any outfits that you don’t want to wear anymore. While it’s convenient to toss your old stuff in a dumpster somewhere and call it a day, it’s better to recycle clothes.
You’ll be reducing your carbon footprint, living more sustainably, and giving your clothing to someone who may need it. It’s good for everyone involved.
Recycling doesn’t only save the planet. It can help save you money too. Check out our blog daily to find out more about saving money while going green.