While no one likes giving up the clothes they once loved, most clothing simply doesn’t last forever. When it’s time to retire your favorite garments, you have more options than throwing them in the trash. In fact, the garbage should be your last resort for getting rid of old clothes. If the clothes have large holes, tears, or stains on them, you won’t be able to donate them. However, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Here are a few ideas on what you should do with old clothing you can’t donate.
Trashing old clothing can have a negative effect on the environment, so you should always try and recycle it if you can. You may have a textile recycling center close to your neighborhood if you live in a more populated area. Otherwise, some textile recycling companies will let you mail them your old clothes instead. Textiles contribute to a large portion of trash every year; the less we can add to that number, the better off we’ll be.
Arts and Crafts Projects
All it takes to turn old clothing into useful art materials is a shift in your thought process. When you stop seeing them as clothes and start seeing them as essentially free fabric, you’ll realize all the ways you can use them. Pillowcases, quilts, patchwork posters—the only limit to what you can use them for is your own creativity. You might as well get as much out of them as possible rather than throwing them away.
Giving to Animal Shelters
A great thing to do with old clothing that you can’t donate to normal charities is to give it to an animal shelter that might need them. Animal shelters use old clothes to do lots of things that help the animals they keep. Whether they use them as simple rags for cleaning and drying or to create bedding for animals that might not have any, you can help support those animals with only a few donations.
It’s actually not just cotton that you can compost sustainably. Many other natural fabrics, such as silk, linen, and wool, can work in a compost pile. Composting is one of the best ways to reuse clothing that you can’t wear anymore. It’ll slowly break down into compost that you can then use to fertilize your lawn or garden.