7 Eco-friendly Ways to Get Rid of Old Clothes

7 Eco-friendly Ways to Get Rid of Old Clothes | Pigments by Liv

Whenever I go through a big change, I have this need to declutter my life mentally and physically. When I graduated from university and moved back in with my parents, I had a huge closet clear out. I ended up with a mountain of clothing, but I wasn’t sure what was the most sustainable way to get rid of it. Here are 7 eco-friendly ways to get rid of old clothes:

Ask yourself do you really want to get rid of it?

I know Marie Kondo says if your clothes aren’t bringing you joy anymore, you should just get rid of them. Part of sustainable fashion is making your clothes last for as long as possible. Sometimes we feel like we just need to change up the way we dress but we don’t have to throw away all our current clothing to do this.

Before you start throwing stuff out, take a moment to think if you can breathe new life into your current wardrobe. By doing this you’ll start to maximise your wardrobe and make your clothes last even longer.

Here are three different methods for reinventing your clothes:

Use Pinterest to find new outfit ideas

I worship Pinterest. One of my favourite things to do is to look for outfit inspo on Pinterest to help me plan my outfit before heading out to see friends. Maybe it’s sad but it makes me happy. Regardless, Pinterest is a fantastic place to find new ideas on how to mix and match your current wardrobe.
Some of the best ideas I’ve found include layering turtlenecks, new ways to wear shirts and how to wear office trousers on the weekend. I already own all these clothes, but I wasn’t wearing them nearly as much as I could. I wouldn’t say these ideas are going to radicalise your current wardrobe, but they will definitely help you maximise it.

Change your mentality

Just because you wore that dress last month does not mean you can never wear it again. It’s on Instagram? So, what! If you like it, wear it again and again! It’s a consumerist ideology to think you can’t wear an item of clothing more than once.

If it really bothers you, try swapping your accessories. One of my favourite trends of all time is wearing a feminine dress with chunky black boots. Try wearing your prom dress again but dress it down with a denim jacket and a pair of white trainers for a completely new look!

Sustainable is more than just a label | 5 important lessons learned from starting a sustainable fashion brand | Pigments by Liv

Repair rather than replace your old clothes

Your favourite jeans finally break after so many years, but that’s what patches are for. The seamstress up the road charges me £5 to patch up a hole in my jeans but it will cost me at least £40 to buy a decent replacement. I know my old jeans fit me well, and I’d much rather save my money and spend it on a new sustainable sweatshirt instead!

Upcycle your wardrobe

Thrift-flips are one of my favourite things to watch on YouTube. I really admire how people can take an old dress and turn it into something completely different! If you’re bored of wearing the same old sweatshirt, nothing is stopping you taking a pair of scissors to it and making a new cropped jumper.

There are some great tutorials on YouTube on how to upcycle old clothing. You don’t have to be a seamstress to follow these guides either. I remember doing tie-dye at the age of 10, so anyone could upcycle an old white graphic tee and turn it into something amazing!

Eco-friendly ways to get rid of old clothes

If you’ve already decided enough is enough, and you need a big clear out, then there are a lot of ways to do this sustainably. Whatever you do, don’t just dump them in your black or blue bin, they might not be recycled properly or could even end up in landfill!

A lot of clothes are made of plastic too. When these items end up in landfill the plastic breaks down and ends up as tiny particles in the ocean. Which end up harming lots of marine life, and also end up on our dinner plates at home.

So here are some more eco-friendly ways to get rid of old clothes:

Sell your clothes online

Hello Depop! As apps go, I think this one is up there with Instagram. You can easily sell your old clothes safely online for a tiny fee. You’ll be surprised at the number of people who are interested in buying your old clothes. I’ve even managed to sell a pair of my old hockey astros on there.
The app is so easy to use. After you register, all you must do is take a few snaps of the clothes you want to sell, then come up with a caption and set the price. Rather than ending up in landfill your clothes will go to a lovely new home and you’ll have some extra cash for your efforts.

Donate your clothes to charity

Regardless of their condition, all you need to do is to bag up your old clothes and take them to your local charity shop. They’ll either be given to someone who does need them, sold to textile companies or become the new stock in their store to help them raise money for a good cause.

You can also choose which charity you want to help and support. If the RSPCA is particularly close to your heart then take your old clothes to one of their stores. A lot of charities will also come and collect your old stuff for free, so check out their website to find out whether they collection in your area.

Jynx | Summer Reading: 4 Books for Cat Lovers | Pigments by Liv

Recycle your clothes properly

If you want to make sure your old clothes are recycled properly, there are textile recycling banks all over the country. Turns out my nearest one is less than 5 miles away! Rather than chucking them in the bin, simply drop your clothes off at your closest bank. These will be much more efficient at giving your clothes a new purpose.
So if you are like me and going through a big declutter, I hope you can either maximise your current wardrobe or use one of these eco-friendly ways to get rid of old clothes.

‘Til next time!



Decorative signature

You might also like...


After so many requests for an elephant collection, I started to wonder what’s so special about an Elephant?


Outfits you can easily recreate with the clothes already in your wardrobe, pick up items from your local charity shop or purchase from sustainable brands such as Pigments by Liv!


The first in a series of chats with conservationists. We discover Sophie’s conservation journey.

Shopping Cart