Disposing of unwanted clothing.

For the fashion-conscious or super-organized among us, wardrobe clean-outs are a normal activity. I clean my wardrobe out every three months, to get rid of items that are worn out, don’t fit or don’t suit me. This gives me more room for fresh purchases, and helps me to keep a good handle on the things I own. But what do you do with the clothes you no longer want?

According to Lucy Siegel in her book To Die For: is fashion wearing out the world, many people do not properly dispose of their unwanted clothing. Many consumers will throw perfectly good items into the rubbish. She reports that it is also common for people to donate unsuitable or unwearable items to charity. Siegel cites a number of reasons for this behaviour, but the top ones are laziness and lack of creativity.  Improper disposal of unwanted clothing has severe environmental and social consequences, such as overflowing landfills, and a lack of suitable clothing for disadvantaged and destitute people.

When it comes to getting rid of the clothes that, for one reason or another, no longer have a place in your wardrobe, there are a number of options.

Worn out clothing.

Clothing is ‘worn out’ when the fabric has become thin and see-through. The garment has holes that cannot be repaired, or is irreversibly stained. Here are some ideas for items that are beyond wear or repair:

– Throw them in the rubbish. I try only to throw away clothing that is truly unsalvageable.

– Before throwing an item away, unpick any buttons, zippers or interesting details. Throw these into your craft or sewing box to use for craft projects or repairing other items.

– Use holey tee shirts or pyjamas as cleaning rags.

– Up-cycle old tee shirts or denim jeans by repurposing them. You could cut them into strips and make a rag rug, or use sections of them to patch other items.

Wearable clothing.

Often, the things we turf out of our wardrobes are still in pretty good nick. Just because something no longer fits you or is no longer your style is no reason to throw it away. As they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. There are plenty of ways to ensure that your unloved garments find a new home:

– Donate clothes to your favourite charity or thrift store. Before donating, ensure that each and every item is clean and in a wearable condition.

– Invite a friend or sister to go through your cast offs and tell them that they can take home anything they want. Not only will you win serious friend points, but you can be sure that your unloved clothing is going to someone who will give it a new lease on life.

– Find out whether your city has any clothing swap events coming up. You can swap your unwanted clothes with other people, and come home with a whole new wardrobe for free. If there are no swap events running in your community, organize one.

– Sell good quality, unusual or vintage pieces on ebay. This is a particularly good option for any items you own that are completely unworn, and still have tags attached.

– Take your unwanted clothing to a consignment store and have them sell them for you. You will have to pay a commission fee, but this will save you a lot of time and effort.

– For items that you adore, but just can’t wear anymore because they don’t fit you, consider creating a clothing time capsule. Clean clothes thoroughly and store them carefully to pass down to future generations.

– Sell or donate vintage items to vintage clothing stores.

-Vintage items can be sold on etsy.

What do you do with your unwanted clothing? Do you have any tips to add to this list?

Please leave a comment.

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