How to Keep Your Old Clothes Out of a Landfill

Adventuring, Recipes and Tutorials

As I’ve methodically parred down my wardrobe, I found myself with a lot of clothes to get rid of. Many items went directly into my sisters’ closets, but there were still heaps left. If you have an interest in minimalism or simply downsizing your wardrobe, you’ll probably run into this issue as well. Here are some ideas to ensure as little waste as possible as you give your closet some breathing room.

Sell to a consignment shop: They’ll probably have specific rules to follow, but it’s worth a shot. Plato’s Closet is a more selective chain that accepts only certain brands of teen & young adult clothing and requires that it be no older than 2 years, regardless of condition.

Siblings, cousins, and family friends: Self-explanatory. I know some people hate hand-me-downs, but if no one will be offended by your offer (and they shouldn’t) offer to let  younger family members or friends look through your old clothes to see if they can find anything they could use.

Friends: If you have a lot of items you’ve bought and seldom wore, have your friends take a look before you toss them. My friends and I often trade pieces that we think are more one another’s style than our own.

Make (or buy) a t-shirt quilt: If your high school experience was anything like mine, you left with a ton of t shirts. From cross country races, musicals, dance recitals, special events, fundraisers, etc. These are hard to get rid of because they are directly tied to specific memories, but honestly, one person can only wear so many t shirts, and they take up quite a bit of space. To solve this problem, I sent my t shirts to Project Repat to make into a quilt. This way, I can preserve the t shirts in a functional and space-saving way. It’s also a good option for favorite shirts that are worn out but that you’re reluctant to throw away.

Make reusable t-shirt shopping bags: Another option for all those t shirts is to make them into reusable shopping bags. It’s really easy and requires just two lines of stitches. See a tutorial here.

Donate: Schools, churches, and Goodwills are always collecting clothes. Even if you think your clothes are too ratty and old, put them in a bag, label it “recycle,” and bring it to Goodwill. Those clothes can be made into insulation or carpet padding by textile companies.

Nike ReUse-A-Shoe: Nike has a program that recycles old shoes into sports and  playground surfaces. You can donate up to 10 pairs to a Nike or Converse retail store, or mail them in.


Tag your environmentally friendly clothing hacks with #thetakeonadventure!

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