5 things to do to keep your old clothes out of the landfill

image: the wardrobe workshop

By Kate | News
Posted May 18, 2013

There are enough clothes on the planet to clothe our 7 billion people for years to come. But as the seasons are changing and as you are wading through your wardrobe you might be wondering – what to do with the clothes you no longer want or need. Here are five suggestions to keep your clothes out of the landfill:

  1. Take them back: several global droughts have affected cotton crops and increased the cost of cotton over the last few years. In response, many retailers have switched to synthetic fibres, which are incredibly recyclable. It makes sense, then that retailers are realising these fibre factors affect their bottom line and many, like H&M, Eileen Fisher, Kuyichi, Filippa K, etc. want their clothes back and are willing to give you a store credit to do so. Check your labels and check your retailers to see which ones, when returned, will put some green back in your wallet.
  2. Swap and share: ask around to your friends and family and you’ll find someone always coveted that jacket/shirt/skirt etc. What better way to get it out of your closet than into the closet of someone you know will love it the way you did and give it a good home.
  3. Repurpose: T-shirts seem to be the most abundant item in everyone’s closet, and let’s be honest – who wants your last 10K running shirt? Project Repat does. This Massachusetts start-up will take your old t-shirts and repurpose them for you. From neckties to picnic blankets, depending on how many tees you send, you can keep them in your life and give them purpose.
  4. Donate: If the clothing is in good condition and wearable, then consider donating it to charity. The better the label, the more of a gift this is. In fact, if you have quality duds you may even consider consignment as thrift shopping and vintage are gaining traction in cities around the world.
  5. Scrap it: if the items are unwearable don’t despair, there is still hope for them. Many craft programs like scrap fabric so ask around your community centres and childcare centres to see if they can use them, and save some for around the house.  Why keep spending money on dish rags, or paper towels when old t-shirt scraps work like a dream.

There are plenty of options for clothing that you don’t want anymore that ‘throwing them out’ shouldn’t be one of them.

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