How To Get Rid Of Old Clothes In An Environmentally Friendly Way

Our generation is no stranger to the crisis that our environment is enduring. We are constantly being reminded that our efforts on an individual, national and global scale are all incredibly important in order to ensure the damage to our planet doesn't become T-totally irreversible. This is a topic that I care about immensely, and I am personally making every effort to consciously reduce my negative environmental impact, concerning my fashion, my consumption decisions and my disposal methods. 

As mentioned in a previous post of mine about how we can use our wardrobes to save the environment, recycling clothes is a fantastic way to ensure this culture of fast fashion that our society relishes doesn't start to become a major polluter, as this is the direction in which the industry is heading, unfortunately. In this post I will be offering ideas and ways that you can clear out your wardrobe in the most eco-friendly way possible. I sincerely hope that after reading this, you will think twice about throwing your unwanted garments straight into the bin.

Recycle your clothes for a reward

Numerous fashion retailers have introduced recycling incentives into their business models, including M&S, & Other Stories and H&M. The idea is that you would give them a bag of your unwanted items (maybe wash them beforehand!) in return for a voucher or discount towards your next shop with that particular brand. This acts as a real incentive, especially for bargain hunters like me, to send their clothes to be recycled as opposed to just throwing them away. I tried this method with H&M where, in return for 1 binbag of old clothes, I was given 2 vouchers that entitle me to £5 off a my next shop totalling £25 or more. You can take up to two bags at one time per person so, if you have a whole mountain of bags, you may have to take a few trips or ask a relative or friend to do it for you. That way, you will also get more vouchers to enjoy. I can confirm that I will certainly be doing this again.

Get money for old clothes via Cash for Clothes

If you're more interested in actually receiving tangible cash as opposed to vouchers or discounts, head to where you can request a home collection on a day of your choice. A courier will come to inspect your clothes and then take them if they are in an acceptable condition. You can expect to be paid 50p per kilo, provided that your clothes meet their criteria of being clean, undamaged and in a wearable condition. You can even receive 20p per kilo for stuffed toys and bed linen. This really isn't a bad idea, especially if your clothes are old and you cannot sell them elsewhere on line, plus, everyone likes having a little extra cash in their pockets.

Sell Online

If you have clothes that are still considerend trendy and you're certain they will sell online, head to eBay or Depop to get selling! All you have to do is create an account and upload photos of the clothes you're selling, displaying the price you want for them. You'll have to pack them up and ship them yourself, however this can be done very easily at your local post office. Your clothes will then be given a new home and therefore a new lease of life, instead of ending up in a landfill or being incinerated.

Hand Them Down

If you have younger members within your family or circle of friends, you could offer to give them your old clothes. Chances are, they would love to receive clothes from an "older" therefore "cooler" (at least that's what I used to think!) person. You could even arrange to sort through the clothes together so they can pick and choose the clothes they would like to keep. This way, they have new items of clothing for free and you can create more space in your wardrobe, which we all know makes life that little bit easier. I used to receive clothes both from my older sister and an older family friend and it was always so exciting discovering this new mound of clothes that were mine! Conversely, I used to give my unwanted clothes to my dad's friends little girl and she was always extremely appreciative, so it's a win-win really!

Donate to a Charity Shop

This one doesn't need too much explaining, as I am pretty certain everyone has kindly donated clothes to Charity Shops at least once in their lives. Although you won't receive any form of payment or incentive back, you can be rest assured that they will keep the clothes on to be resold in their store. However, it's best to avoid leaving bags of clothes on the doorsteps of Charity Shops (for example, if they're closed at that time), as it's easy for these bags to be either damaged or stolen. Try to ensure you personally hand over the bag to a member of staff or volunteer worker. I have donated clothes to Oxfam, The British Red Cross and The Salvation Army, all who have been incredibly grateful to receive my donations.


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