We all outgrow or wear out our old clothes and that’s ok. But the amount of waste in the fashion industry isn’t. We don’t believe that any item of clothing deserves to end up in a landfill, wasting the hard work of whoever made it and damaging the environment. The more items that are chucked away, the more new items are churned out at a rate of knots, resulting in unfair conditions for garment workers and environmental destruction.

Luckily, there are alternatives. Here’s a list of 5 things you can do with an unwanted item of clothing that will help you contribute to a more ethical, eco-friendly and sustainable fashion industry.

1.  Upcycle It – You may think that old silk dress looks frumpy and outdated but would it make a gorgeous cushion cover? If you like the pattern or material of an item of clothing, but wouldn’t use it in its original form, you can  make it into something else that you really like, or as a cute, personal gift for someone you love. Upcycled items are not only ethical and eco-friendly but they have an individuality that you just can’t get on the high street – we bet you will get loads of compliments on your new-to-you item. Look at websites such as Pinterest for inspiration, or come to one of our upcycling workshops.

2.  Donate it to a charity shop – Donating to charity is always a worthwhile thing to do, and giving unwanted clothes is a great way to help out if you’re short on cash. You get to have a clear out while at the same time helping a good cause to raise some money, everybody wins! And you never know, for someone coming into that shop, those jeans you find unflattering might be just what they have been on a mission to find.
Find your local charity shops here.

3.  Swap It –  We all see clothes on other people that we wish we owned, and we can be sure that people feel that way about our stuff too. A jacket that doesn’t really fit with one person’s style may look amazing as part of their friends wardrobe, but instead of reaching its full potential it is gathering dust at the back of a closet. This is why swapping your clothes is a great idea! Ask your friends if they are interesting in swapping items or attend one of our monthly clothes swap events.

4.      Give it to the homeless – Sadly there are a growing number of people living on the streets throughout the UK and most of them will be in dire need of new clothes to help keep them as comfortable and warm as possible. An item of clothing that is going to waste in your attic may be invaluable to someone living without a home, especially if it’s something warm or waterproof. Homeless shelters will be extremely grateful for clothing donations and it’s a really worthwhile way to ensure old items are appreciated.

5.  Recycle – We understand that there are occasions in which an item of clothing is no longer suitable to used. But it still doesn’t have to go to waste, there is no reason why the materials can’t be recycled.
Clothes that are too dirty or damaged to be worn again can be ripped up and used for rags or stuffing for things like car seats.
Check online to find out where you can recycle clothes in your area,  it may be that your local supermarket or a nearby car park has a clothing or textiles bank. Recycling is a quick and simple way to do your bit for the environment and a much better fate for your once loved clothes than dumping them in a landfill.

Happy Recycling!

Stitched Up x