We all have clothes we no longer wear or want — whether that’s because they no longer fit, they’re out of fashion, or they’re no longer in good condition. Whatever the situation, there’s a way to deal with these clothes that doesn’t involve tossing them in the general waste bin and sending them to landfill. Take a look through our top tips below and recycle, upcycle and reuse your unwanted garments instead.
There could still be life left in your old clothes if you make just a few small changes to them — why not change their size or colour, or jazz them up a bit with some accessories?
If you’ve lost weight, why not have a go at bringing your garment in at the waist? If you’re no seamstress, you’ll find plenty of video guides online for how to do this. If you really don’t think you’ll make a good job of it, pop it in to your local tailor and they’ll quickly sort it out for you.
If you’ve put weight on and your garment is now too small, extra fabric can be added or changes can be made: sometimes garments can even be let out a little to offer more room.
If you’ve gone off a garment, changing the colour could be just the refresh it needed: grab some fabric dye and give it a go at home. Check the back of the packets to see which dyes work best with which fabric colours. Go a step further and experiment with tie-dying.
Plain garments offer a wealth of options when it comes to upcycling. Give your t-shirt or jeans a makeover with buttons, sequins, patches, bows, iron-on transfers, fabric paints/pens and beads and let your creativity flow.
Charities are always happy to receive donations of unwanted clothes — they sort through them and sell some in their shops to new owners, send some abroad to countries in need, and sell the rest on as rags for recycling into new items such as rugs and sofas.
You can also donate clothes online to local people who may not be able to afford new clothing, via sites such as Gumtree or Freecycle.
If your clothes are in excellent condition or designer, you might want to consider selling them. You can do this online through sites such as eBay and Gumtree, or at car boot sales (but prepare to make less money for them there).
If you have any other ideas on how to recycle clothes, please let us know in the comments section below.