Recycle, Reuse or Donate: What to Do with Unwanted Clothes
With Christmas over and done with for another year, a lot of us will be heading to the sales to buy new items of clothing. We need to make room for our new garments, so a clear out of our wardrobes might be in order. But what should you do with your unwanted clothing and shoes? Research shows that a whopping 350,000 tonnes of clothing is sent to landfill each year, and this is increasing. The clothing we throw away is worth an estimated £140 million. It’s never been more important to find ways to reuse and recycle unwanted clothing.
Ways to reuse and recycle clothing
Before you consign your unwanted clothes to the bin, consider these tips for reusing and recycling your garments:
Pimp your clothing
If the clothes are in good condition and they are just a little big, or have missing buttons, get an alteration, or get your sewing kit out and mend them. If sewing isn’t your forte, ask someone you know who is handy with a needle and thread.
Restyle your outfits
If an outfit seems boring, consider whether you can dress it up a little differently with accessories before you put it in the bin.
You can sell your unwanted clothes if they are in reasonable condition. You can sell them on eBay or at a car boot sale. A lot of people are willing to buy pre-owned clothes if they are in good condition.
Have a party, buy some drinks and nibbles, and swap some clothes with your friends. This is a fun way to reuse clothing, jewellery, and shoes.
De-clutter your wardrobe and help a good cause at the same time by donating your unwanted clothes to a local charity. You can also donate clothes to charity via door to door collections.
There are often recycling banks for clothes in supermarket car parks or at designated local authority collection points. Recycled textiles are made into lots of different new goods.
Good recycling practice: The North Face
The North Face, who sell walking and outdoor clothing and apparel, have launched an instore recycling programme called Clothes The Loop. The company asks that customers bring in used footwear and clothing to be recycled. This prevents it from going to landfill and in addition, customers get reward points to redeem against their next purchase from the store.