What To Do With Old Clothes: Tips And Tricks
With the summer season drawing to an end, it's time for people to start going through their warm-weather clothes and breaking out fall sweaters. For most Americans, this involves not just packing everything up for use next year but also going through items to see what can be culled from their collections to make room for next year's fashions.
It may be tempting after an exhausting day of going through old clothes to just throw everything in the trash, but that's almost never the best solution. Instead, read on to find out about some great ideas for how to get rid of old clothes sustainably.
Donate High-Quality Clothes to a Thrift Store
To be clear, while donating clothes to a thrift store supporting charity is by far the best option for keeping high-quality textiles out of the landfills, it's only appropriate for gently worn items. If a shirt, pair of shoes, or beautiful dress is no longer in fashion, giving it to an organization that will get that old but still usable outfit to someone in need is a great solution. However, thrift stores cannot resell severely worn clothing, so people with the best of intentions sometimes wind-up foisting clothing items that can't be sold on organizations that already run-on tight margins. Don't be one of those people.
Attend a Clothing Swap
If there's no local thrift store that supports a good cause, attending a clothing swap is a great way to trade gently worn items for new ones. Clothing swaps are also a great way to build community, and they're relatively easy to organize. Choose a convenient time and place, then put up fliers or market the event online to make sure there are plenty of attendees, and make it clear that people should only bring clean, usable items.
Repair or Repurpose Damaged Clothing
Many issues with otherwise high-quality clothing can be addressed through basic repairs like replacing buttons or zippers, and even people who don't like to sew can always enlist the help of a professional tailor or seamstress. If repairing doesn't seem like a good option, think about repurposing the items. Even severely damaged clothing can be made into patches, rags, or face masks.
Get Into Upcycling
Love making crafts? It's relatively easy to upcycle old t-shirts, blouses, and even socks, and these are some of the clothing items that are least likely to resell at a thrift store. Check out some fun ideas for upcycling used clothing online or get creative and design DIY dog toys, sock puppets, tote bags, and more. High-quality upcycled items also make great gifts.
It's Everyone's Responsibility to Cut Back on Waste
Whether fashionistas decide to donate their clothing to a thrift store or upcycle it into gifts for their friends, the key is to reduce waste wherever possible. If all else fails, natural-fibre clothing can be composted, and many municipalities have textile recycling programs in place that make it easy to keep old clothing out of landfills. It's worth taking the time to explore options before throwing old clothes in the trash.
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