Sustainable Ways to Get Rid of Your Old Clothes

After your seasonal wardrobe flip, you likely have a bag or bin of clothing that you no longer want or need anymore. But what should you do with them? Before you head to the dumpster, consider these sustainable options.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

There are plenty of companies that want to help you recycle textiles. Services such as Retold Recycling make it easy to keep your old clothing out of landfills. Simply order a bag, fill it with clothing, slap on the prepaid label, and drop it off in a mailbox or post office. Your clothes are then distributed to various thrift stores, charities, recycling companies, and more.

Clothing manufacturers have also stepped up to cut back on clothing waste. For example:

  • Levi’s offers a denim recycling program and Levi’s SecondHand, which allows you to sell back jeans in exchange for gift cards.
  • ReGirlfriend is a program offered by sustainable brand Girlfriend Collective that lets you give back old products in exchange for store credit.
  • Universal Standard has a similar program titled Reset, Recycle, and Refresh.

Compost Cotton

Did you know that you can compost some of your old clothing? Certain cotton clothing can be shredded and mixed into your potting soil. Once you add plants, the fabric will slowly decompose, nurturing the soil as it does.

Make Home Decor

Tossing your favorite old graphic tee that you haven’t worn for years just doesn’t feel right. Instead, use sentimental items to create home decor. You can frame nostalgic graphic tees to hang or turn old flannels into throw pillows. If you have an overflowing T-shirt drawer, consider repurposing them into a quilt that will keep you warm for years to come.

Plan a Clothing Swap

We all have that one friend who has the best clothes – so why not hit them up for some trades? Organizing a clothing swap is a fun way to get a group together and give your besties’ old clothing a new lease on life!

Patch It Up

You can patch up clothes you love or want to revamp by cutting old textiles into funky patches shaped like squares, hearts, stars, or flowers. We love this option because it lets you bring out your creative side while staying on-trend (patchwork is big in fashion right now).

Craft Rags

You can cut up old hoodies and tees (even the most stained or discolored) to make reusable absorbent rags! Not only will this give your clothing a longer lifespan, but it will also cut down on your paper towel consumption.

Do you have creative ways to repurpose or recycle your old clothes? Share them with us in the comments below!


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