Cleaning out your closet can be a serious process. From giving up on squeezing into those ultra slim fit jeans from two high school to finally retiring that faded old T-shirt, going through your closet can turn into a really lengthy way to spend an afternoon. While it can take a long time, it can also be rewarding! Making space for new clothes in your closet is always exciting–and a great excuse to shop around to fill up that space. But what will you do with all of those old clothes that you don’t want anymore?
According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the average American throws away 70 lbs. of clothing and other textiles each year. Clothing items that are still in good or fair condition end up in landfills simply because they don’t fit our current style. But what if our gently used clothing fits someone else’s style? Here are some great ways to recycle your old clothing and reduce your carbon footprint.
One great way to recycle clothing is by donation. Shelters, donation boxes, and charity drives are always happy to accept gently worn clothing. One great way to donate clothing is by going to your local thrift shop–like Goodwill or Salvation Army–and drop off your old clothes at their donation center. If you keep records and receipts, you may also become eligible for a tax break for making a charitable donation.
If you’re looking to make a little extra cash, take those bags of old clothes to your nearest resale shop! Stores like Plato’s Closet and Crossroads buy and sell gently used, trendy clothing. If they see something they like, they will buy your clothing from you to sell in their stores. If you have a few designer pieces that just aren’t your style anymore, you can set aside those items to sell at a consignment shop. Consignment shops operate a little differently than resale–they will display your clothing items for an extended amount of time. If they sell, you get cash! If they don’t, they just give you your items back.
Scrap It and Craft It!
Scrap fabric is always good to keep on hand in case of fashion emergencies. If your favorite pair of jeans acquires a hole in one of the pockets, cut the sleeve off of an old T-Shirt and patch that pocket up! Old clothing that is kept for scrap material can be used to patch up other damaged clothing, and embellish other wearable items and accessories.