Monday 16 January 2017

Weekly Green Tips #38 - Keeping Old Clothes out of Landfill

Week 38 - Keeping old clothes out of landfill

Many people add decluttering to their New Year Resolutions which may well include thinning down the contents of the wardrobe ... or maybe with all that weight loss you've achieved some clothes are too big now!  What-ever your reason for getting rid of clothes though, there are far better things you can do with them besides chucking them in the bin where they end up in landfill.

7 things to do with old clothes

1.   Sell them

If your clothes are still in good condition you can sell them on ebay or any other suitable website.  Or you might prefer to have a boot fair and sell off ALL your clutter!

2.  Give them away

If you cannot be bothered with selling them why not just give them away.  Sites like Freecycle are great for this.

3.  Swap

Maybe even that is too much hassle so why not swap clothes with friends.  Organise an evening together, get in some wine and all bring the clothes you no longer want.  Your old skirt is a new outfit for your best friend. 

4.  Downgrade them to something else

Old fabric has so many uses from cleaning cloths to lagging pipes.  You can also add them to your child's dressing up box.  What other ideas can you come up with?

5.  Upcycle them to something new

If you are the crafty type there are almost unlimited ways you can use old clothes.  I took a quick look on Pinterest and saw old jeans made into pencil cases, T-shirts into shopping bags and fabulous quilts made from old clothes.  I have used old clothes to make Christmas cards and no child's craft box is complete without a good selection of old clothes to cut up and use.

Quilt and image from The Next Stitch

6.  Take them to a Charity Shop

Charity shops are always on the look out for clothes donations so bag them up and drop them off.  Do however be a bit cautious of those plastic sacks that get dropped through your letter box asking for clothes donations for charities.  Whilst some are genuine others are not and the clothes are in fact sold on and not given to charity at all ... others also never get collected and just sit cluttering up the pavement.

7.  Send your Bras to Africa

The charities Smalls for All and Oxfam collect gently worn bras and unworn knickers and gets them to needy women in Africa.  Having knickers means girls do not need to miss days off school every month and wearing a bra can even save a woman from rape or slavery.  As unlikely as it sounds it is true, as a woman who wears underwear is seen to be higher status that a woman without and shows she probably has a man to care for her - and that can be enough to protect her. 

For more tips on how to keep all you decluttered things out of landfill have a read of this blog post - Keeping Clutter out of Landfill

Have you seen all the other posts in #WeeklyGreenTips?  Click on "Weekly Green Tips" in the labels section in the right hand column for loads more green inspiration.

A Green and Rosie Life


  1. I don't think any of the charity collection bags actually send the clothes to charity. The deal is that the traders sell the clothes (and other stuff) to whoever gives them the most cash, and then they give a donation (sometimes a set proportion of profits) to the charity. If you want a charity to sell your stuff, you need to give it to a charity shop directly.

    1. I remember when I lived in the UK that there were bags that said the clothes would go direct to the charity shop and then I read this was in fact a con with many not even giving a percentage to the charity. I never used them again.

  2. There are clothing recycling bins too, where the clothes get sent to Africa and other places in need.

    1. Bearing in mind I use those all the time for lack of charity shops in France, I can't believe I forgot to add them! Thank you!

  3. So much vital information. I never knew that about women in Africa. My grandmother made a wonderful quilt we still have to this day back in the 70's. It was made out of her scraps of polyester. Some tough stuff.

  4. These are some great tips. We've got some quilts made out of old t-shirts. Thanks for sharing on Waste Less Wednesday Blog Hop!

  5. Love to read weekly green tips to live green life.


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