Great Ways to Get Rid of Used Clothes
We all have those clothes smouched up in the back of our drawers or closets. For whatever reason, these clothes have lost their appeal, and you have not worn them in years. It is difficult to get rid of clothes, even if you haven’t worn them for three years. Often our clothes remind us of sentimental moments in our past. There are times we hold onto clothes because we believe they will come back in fashion. Or you are trying to lose weight and that size four pair of jeans from five years ago is your motivation. Because closet space and drawer space are in high demand, why not get rid of your unused clothes? To get yourself started on this demanding task, begin by asking yourself when the last time you wore this piece of clothing was? Can it be repurposed? Also, ask yourself the question Marie Kondo recommends, “Does this bring you joy?” If not, the next question is, what is the best way to dispose of your unwanted, used clothes?
Solutions for Secondhand Clothes
Donate your used clothes.
When you no longer have use for your clothes, bedsheets, towels, or shoes, one effective way to dispose of them is to donate your used clothes to a thrift shop or secondhand clothing store. Local charities and hospitals run organizations to raise money for their organizations. These organizations help individuals and families in need get clothes and shoes. They serve the dual purpose of selling secondhand clothes and raising money for organizations that provide valuable services to a community. Often some Thrift shops donate clothes to homeless shelters or women shelters.
Repurpose your used clothes
If you do not believe your used clothes will sell or are too old and stained, donate the clothes to a textile recycling center. You can find large metal containers placed in areas around towns for you to deposit your used clothes. Textile recycling centers sort the clothes by fabric type and color. Once sorted, a machine shreds the clothing into long fibers. The fibers then go through a “Carding” process. This process untangles all the knots then lines up the fibers, so they run parallel to each other. Once cleaned and detangled, a machine spins the fibers into threads. The next stage is to weave the threads into new fabrics. (Porter, Beth, What Really Happens to Unwanted Secondhand Clothes, http://hissenglobal.com/).
Another way to repurpose your unwanted clothes is to make something else with them. That drawer full of your son’s or daughter’s t-shirts has another purpose, make a quilt from them. Often t-shirts have sentimental value, and that is one reason why they are so hard to throw away. Making a quilt is a great way to repurpose all those t-shirts and clean up your drawer space.
You can also make new clothes out of your old clothes. Last season’s dress and a retro blouse just might fit into the latest style fashions. With a little creative ingenuity, you have yourself a new outfit.
Export Secondhand Clothes
What happens to all the unsold and used clothes? Organizations like Hissen global and used clothes companies bundle up the clothes and export the bundles to different countries around the world. Local merchants in these countries, like Kenya, then sell these bundled bins of secondhand clothes at very low prices. China is the biggest exporter of used clothing in the world. China exports over a billion pounds of used clothing every year. Over 700,000 tons (about 635,000 tonnes) of used clothing are exported per year. The used clothing export business is growing. Though it is an excellent idea in spirit, the used clothing exportations are not without their fair share of global economic challenges. Because the cost of the exported used clothes is significantly less than clothes produced locally, the local fashion industry cannot compete with the used clothes export business.
Why It is Important to Repurpose or Recycle your Used Clothes
According to Abigail Beal in her BBC.com article, Why Clothes are so Hard to Recycle? Dated July 12, 2020, in the United States, 13 million tonnes (over 14 million tons) are thrown away in landfills. Around the world, textile waste in landfills adds up to around 92 million tonnes (almost 21 million tons). These numbers are difficult to comprehend, but when you add the impact of making textiles and clothes has on our environment, you will understand that this is a subject not to take lightly. We must think twice about how many clothes we buy and how to properly get rid of them when we no longer need them.
How You Can Make a Difference
Support businesses that are active in using recycled fabrics and materials for their products. Companies like Hissenglobal, zagumi are examples of such companies.
Donate your used clothes to organizations and thrift shops that will donate or sell secondhand clothes to the poor. Organizations like Goodwill, local homeless shelters, and places of worship have specific dates or places where you can donate your used clothes.
Repurpose your used clothes. Make a quilt or blanket with your older clothes, or make yourself a new outfit.
Recycle your used clothes by donating them to a textile recycling center. Some local governments have collection bins that the donations go directly to a textile recycling facility.
There are so many options available to dispose of your used clothes without throwing them out in the trash can. So before you throw out your old sweater, think about if your sweater has some life left to give. You may not want to wear it anymore, but someone else will if it is in decent shape. Or, if the clothes look stained and ratty, repurpose the sweater by donating it to a textile recycling facility. Exhaust all possibilities and prevent your unused sweater from becoming another contribution to the overflowing landfill in your area. People dump 92 million metric tons of textile waste into landfills across the world. That is an unimaginable amount of waste to comprehend, but it is true.