Best Sustainable Practices for Recycling Clothes
When you have a garbage bag full of unwanted clothes, you may be tempted to toss it in the dumpster and call it a day. While this might seem like the best option in terms of convenience, there are plenty of other convenient options that are better for the environment – and for you. Recycling your clothing can make a big impact in the long run, even though you won’t see instant results. Learn more about the various ways you can make a difference.
Sustainable Practices for Recycling Clothes
Before you toss old clothes in the trash, try setting up a clothing swap event with your friends or members of the community. This way, you will be able to trade your old clothes for someone else’s clothes that you like better. It’s a win-win that helps your closet and the environment while having fun.
Dish Rags & Cleaning Cloths
Old clothes make great cleaning cloths, painter rags for small areas, and even headbands when cut into thin strips and tied! Next time you go to the store to stock up on sponges and paper towels consider using a t-shirt instead for a more environmentally friendly approach to cleaning your car and home.
Another recycling tip is to modify your old, boring clothes to a more up-and-coming trendy outfit! From t-shirt quilts to regular sewing projects to vintage clothing wall hangings, there are plenty of different crafts that could give your old clothes a brand-new purpose. If you want to take up a new crafting hobby such as sewing but you do not want to incur the cost of materials, you can always practice your sewing skills on old clothes. If you have kids in your life who want to try their hand at sewing, you can also give them old clothes as practice cloth. Other crafts that work well with old clothes include t-shirt pillows, sock dolls, and more. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination!
If you can’t think of any crafts to use up old clothes (or you don’t have a crafty bone in your body), you can try donating the old clothes to secondhand craft supply stores and charities that have participants do craft projects. There will definitely be some nifty crafters who would be grateful for the extra fabric at a free or low cost.
Redesign Old Clothing
Sometimes, you may want to throw clothes away because they don’t match your current style. As trends change, you may be tempted to get rid of clothes in your closet that don’t fit your current preferences. Before you bag clothes that seem like yesterday’s news, there are ways to get your old wardrobe up to date without chucking it in the garbage.
One option for turning older styles into more current looks is adding embellishments that reflect the trends of the moment. This might include adding bows to tops when bows are in style or transforming t-shirts into tank tops when tank tops are in season. This may also involve sewing on patches or tacking pins on clothes that no longer reflect your hobbies or interests.
If you have basic clothing items such as denim jackets, blue jeans, and t-shirts that no longer look cool but still fit, you can always modify them with embellishments, tailoring adjustments, and trims to keep up with the current trends. What’s more, vintage clothes are frequently more popular than you might think. That baby tee from the early 2000s that you used to love is coming back in style today along with platform shoes, rhinestones, and more.
If you love an outfit but are unable to picture yourself wearing it today due to changes in trends, try setting it aside and waiting for a couple of decades for the style to come back into fashion. Once it comes back into fashion, you may be able to resell the item or wear it yourself. Either way, you can avoid taking up closet space in the meantime by putting old clothes into storage using regular boxes or vacuum storage bags to reduce the amount of space they take to store.
Long-Term & Short-Term Benefits of Recycling Clothes
- Recycling clothes keeps them out of landfills, which are already overfilled, to begin with
- It ensures that your clothes go to a good home or a positive purpose
- It can help you feel good about yourself and your decisions
- It can be fun to craft, embellish, or trade old clothes
Negative Outcome of Not Recycling Your Clothes
Disadvantages of throwing clothes into a landfill include some clothing materials’ inability to break down naturally, costs to your community, and thrown away clothes contributing to pollution. You also miss out on opportunities like cool crafts, fun memories with friends at clothing swaps, and compliments on vintage fashion. Especially after reading our blog, we hope you have a better understanding of the different ways you can reuse and reduce overall garbage abundance!
Choose LePage & Sons for your residential trash pickup service and recycling needs. They make sure to go above and beyond your typical waste management duties by helping in their community.