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
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!
Repair rather than replace your old clothes
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
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.
Recycle your clothes properly
‘Til next time!
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