How to recycle clothes

7 ways to combine zero waste with a cruelty free lifestyle
7 ways to combine a zero waste lifestyle with cruelty free
July 1, 2018
zero waste week events 2018
Zero Waste Week 2018 events
August 6, 2018

I don’t know about you, but clothes seem to breed in our home! I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe, but with temperatures ranging from -5 in the winter, to +30 in the summer, it’s just not feasible.

My husband needs to wear clothes he doesn’t mind getting messy, due to our ‘hands on’ lifestyle- think animals, open fires and gardening!

Then there’s our daughter – a teenager who falls in and out of love with clothes like there’s no tomorrow. At least we buy most of our clothes from a charity shop, but there still comes that time when you can’t wait to have a good clear out and reclaim some space.

Here are some ways to recycle clothes without contributing to the millions of tonnes of fabrics that end up in landfill:

  1. Kerbside recycling

One of the most common complaints from readers is the endless charity bags that end up being put through the letterbox. However, they can come in handy, if you want to recycle your clothes!

And some organizations are well known for having regular kerbside pick-ups. You just need to know when they are scheduled to pass through your neighbourhood – give them a call and get those bags picked up. The beauty of this is it’s simple – you don’t need to go anywhere or lug your goods through town or try and find somewhere to park your car.

  1. Second hand dress agencies

If you have decent pieces, such as designer labels, you can make some money from your unwanted clothes, bags and shoes. Ask for local recommendations or check online to find second hand dress agencies that specialize in the labels you have. Most of my local dress agencies take 50% of the price for themselves and you get the remaining 50%.

  1. Sell them on eBay or other online platforms.

Through the online platforms like eBay, it’s easy to post things for sale. If you use an app, you can post while you are going through your clutter for the clothes that can be sold. eBay has its Charity program where you can give back while you clear your clutter. You can donate 10% to 100% of an item’s final sale price to a non-profit of your choice.

  1. Home goods that do good.

If you’re anything like me, once you start on the clothes, you automatically find OTHER things to get rid of! It’s a great opportunity to donate used furniture, DIY materials, and home improvement goods to some of the larger charity shops. In addition, there are numerous fêtes this time of year looking for donations for prizes, so go through those kitchen cupboards, ornaments and knick knacks and see what you can donate.

  1. Responsible recycling of electronics.

They are certain stores that offer proper channels for the disposal of your old electronics (WEEE). In fact, any store that sells appliances with a battery or plug is required to dispose of your old electronics for you with ‘no strings attached’. Some stores and other electronic retailers offer trade-in programs where you can get store credit in exchange for items.

     6. Posting it on a Freecycle.

If your clutter includes an old couch, bike, fridge, hardcore from your backyard and even topsoil, you can post it on freecycle. You might end up helping someone, as they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And it’s a great way to repurpose things that have no financial value, but still have good life left in them.

Summing up

There are numerous ways to declutter those things you no longer want without contributing to landfill. And you can even make some money! Don’t forget to follow proper recycling recycling rules where you can – and keep checking your local authority’s website for details of the latest recycling facilities available in your area. It’s amazing what you can recycle in your local area – and facilities are improving all the time.

What about you? How do you declutter your home without adding to landfill?

Rachelle Strauss
Rachelle Strauss
Rachelle Strauss is founder of MyZeroWaste.com and ZeroWasteWeek.co.uk Both are leading websites for helping householders reduce landfill waste. Her work has attracted media stories and engagement in documentaries, film and radio both locally and abroad.

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