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Clothes Recycling Tips: What to do with Unwanted Clothes

Clothes Recycling Tips

It’s time to clear out your wardrobe and maybe the linen cupboard while you’re at it. But what do you do with all those unwanted clothes, blankets, and duvet covers? Before you throw them away, stop and think about whether you can recycle or reuse them. Check out our clothes recycling tips here...

Why we should recycle or reuse unwanted clothes

According to clothes aid, we send 350,000 tonnes of unwanted clothes to landfill every year. In monetary terms, that’s a whopping £140 million worth. That’s not only money wasted, but also the energy and raw materials it took to make the clothes in the first place. Bad news for our pockets and the planet.

The figures also show that more than 60% of us have unwanted clothes and textiles cluttering up our homes. But if we shouldn’t throw them away, what can we do with them? Plenty.

Clothes Recycling Tip #1: Donate or sell your unwanted clothes and textiles

If clothes are in good condition, you can donate them to charity shops. Some charities, like the British Heart Foundation, offer a free collection or posting service from your home.

Or what about donating them to a church or school jumble sale? You’ll be donating to a good cause and creating some much-needed space in your wardrobe.

Old blankets, carpets, and bedding are usually welcomed by animal shelters to keep dogs and cats warm.

If you want to make some extra cash and make space in your home, try selling your clothes on Facebook Marketplace or eBay.

Clothes Recycling Tip #2: Take unwanted clothes back to a retailer

Retailers like Primark, John Lewis, and Marks and Spencer operate ‘bring back’ schemes for clothing. Just return your old items to the store and earn rewards in the process.

Clothes Recycling Tip #3: Take them to a recycling centre or textile bank

If your unwanted clothes and textiles have seen better days, it doesn’t mean they’re destined for the bin. Check with your local authority to see where you can take clothes and textiles for recycling. Your old clothes are turned into fibres and used to make stuffing for furniture, carpets, insulation, and more.

Clothes Recycling Tip #4: Upcycle old clothes

That old pair of jeans you haven’t worn forever, or that jumper that’s just not your style? Before you condemn them to landfill, could you get creative and turn them into something new? You could add embellishment to your jeans or get crafty and turn the jumper into a cosy cushion cover. There are so many upcycling ideas online, you might never throw anything away again!

We hope we’ve inspired you to stop and think before you throw away your unwanted clothes and textiles. Whether you donate, sell, recycle, or upcycle them, they’re all far better options than landfill.

For more interesting articles and tips on all things recycling, check out the rest of our blog or check out our clothes recycling bins.

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