Did you know that textiles are estimated to take over 5.2% of all landfills? Instead of adding to the waste, let’s look at ways we can reduce our impact on landfills this month with alternatives to trashing any kind of fabric or clothing.
Repurpose your clothes
Cut old t-shirts into squares and make a t-shirt quilt to preserve memories. Cut up clothes into smaller squares or strips to use as dusting rags and cleaning cloths, or create dryer balls from old socks. The possibilities are endless!
Donate clothing to Thrift Stores
Thrift stores are a great place to donate old clothing. It can also work in reverse and can be a way to purchase clothes at a greatly reduced price. Most thrift stores will accept any clothing that has been used, either by dropping off bags during business hours, or by finding a drop-off bin around town.
Donating to a thrift store is also a great way to receive a tax write-off. Simply ask for a donation receipt with the total value documented. For a basic value estimate of your clothing, check the Goodwill Valuation Guide.
Sell on Consignment
Sell your clothes online through websites like ThredUp. Simply order a bag, fill it with name-brand women’s and children’s clothing, and mail it back to them. They will notify you when they’ve gone through your bag and will also provide an amount they will pay you for your clothes. You can either use that money to shop at ThreadUp, or cash it out via PayPal.
Other alternatives include brick-and-mortar consignment shops like Plato’s Closet (for teens), Once Upon a Child (for kids) and other local stores in your community. Selling clothing this way can take some time, but if you’re willing to wait it out, it can be lucrative, especially with name brand clothes!
Have a “swapping party” with your friends who wear similar sizes or have children around the same age. It is also very common for Facebook groups in neighborhoods or communities to have a group online where you can buy, sell and trade clothing tems. Search on Facebook using terms like “neighborhood” and “sell” or “swap” or “trade.” For example, “Coppell, Swap.”
All clothing, no matter how worn, can be given to recycling centers for processing. It does need to be dry when dropped off. Textiles that are brought to recycling facilities are sorted into color and fabric, shredded, and then repurposed for many different products including mattresses, car insulation, roofing felts, loudspeaker cones, panel linings and furniture padding.
Share with us how you’re reducing the impact on landfills and recycling your clothing. Hosting a swapping party? Taking bags of clothes to Goodwill? Take a photo and use #RecycleGuide on Facebook & Twitter so we can share inspiring ways that you’re recycling!
Want more info? See what else the Recycle Guide has to say about clothes here.
Photo Credit: Jake Bouma