How to get rid of old clothes sustainably?

Good morning everyone! I hope your week is going well and you feel inspired today. With the change of season, I was inspired to evaluate my wardrobe and update of few items. This I thought it would be nice to share some ideas on how to get rid of old clothes sustainably. I spoke about it a little in a previous post (link) but I thought about some creative ideas to make your clothes live a little longer, serve different purposes and maybe make some money.

Sharing

If you have friends with similar fashion style and size as you, create a Facebook event or make it a seasonal thing to get together and shop each other’s unwanted clothes. You can all gather at one’s home (create a rotation of hosts) and bring all the clothes you think your friends would enjoy. Depending on your budget and your friends, you can decide between doing it for free or selling your pieces for cheap. This offers 3 great things:

  1. you get together with friends for a fun afternoon or evening;
  2. you get great clothes and refresh your wardrobe; and
  3. it does not cost you much.

Donate

Thrift Stores

If your clothes are not worthy of your friends or they don’t have your style, consider donating to thrift stores in your community. They will likely sell them at affordable prices thus helping out people less fortunate. The good thing about this is that most stores will give the clothes for fabric recycling if they cannot be sold (out of the landfills, mmm … yes please!).

Shelters

If you happen to know some shelters in your community (for homeless or for battered women), consider donating your clothing (in good condition that goes without saying) to these organization. People starting over will need it and it might even change their whole life. Another organization I know of if you donate business clothes is dress for success. They are all over the place, helping women get ready and dress well for first interviews. Their mission is “providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.”

Sell

If you have great brand pieces (in good condition or like new), you might want to consider selling them online or have a yard sale.

Textile Recycling

As mentioned in the thrift store category, you can have your old socks with holes or anything that cannot be sold recycled. You can search in any search engine “textile recycling (enter your city)” and it should allow you to explore what is offered near you.

Crafts

Making rags

My grandma uses to do that and I remember those rags being the best. If you have a piece of clothing too old or with holes consider making rags with it. You can use them to clean the house, for gardening, in the garage, even has facecloths.

Doll clothing

You can use the fabric to make clothes for dolls or Barbies if you have a sewing machine. It can be a gift idea for children in your family or even as a side hustle.

Headbands

This I have to admit to having seen on Pinterest. It is a great way to reuse those old t-shirts.

Men’s shirt into a dress

Also seen on Pinterest (because I just love that app), this can be done with men’s shirt for teens or young women because otherwise, it might be short but you can wear them as your new shirt if you wanted to.

Upscale by mixing or adding

Another great idea to change some pieces would be to add or take some of it on or off. An example would be to add ruffles to a basic t-shirt or create a tank top from a t-shirt. You can even make a skirt from old jeans.

Invest in quality instead of quantity

It always come down to buying less clothing in general and investing in good versatile quality pieces. You might have less clothing in your closet but if you wear them all, take good care of them and they last you years and years, it is worth the initial higher cost. I find it better to research brands while saving for the next piece to add/replace instead of rushing to purchase something. A great option, if you are like me and enjoy big brands, would be to purchase high-end clothing from good reputation brands or high-end brands from second-hand online retailers like Vestiaire Collective (more on this in another post so stay tune).

I would love to read your options to dispose of fabric and tips on how to do so sustainably. Which of the above do you already do? Which would you try? Leave comments below, like and share. I hope to see you back here soon.

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