Green Ways to Discard of Unwanted Clothing

  • October 22, 2020

    Green Ways to Discard of Unwanted Clothing

    As styles come and go, it is only natural to want to discard of unwanted, old clothing to make room in your closet for new apparel. What you may not know is that 85% of purchased clothes get tossed each year. To help you imagine this, picture one garbage truck load of textiles and fabrics being incinerated or dumped into landfills every single second. Shocked? Sadly, the problem is only expected to get worse as textile waste is predicted to double in the coming decade, increasing the amount of surplus to 192 million tons annually. Although brands are slowly adopting practices to utilize more sustainable supply chains and manufacturing practices, we as conscious consumers should do our part to reduce landfill waste by following these easy “green” ways of discarding unwanted clothing.

    Resell (and make some $$)

    Finding an absolute steal at a thrift store is a guilty pleasure for sure, but not as much of a guilty pleasure as earning cash for doing literally nothing. Sound too good to be true? Think again. Brick and mortar consignment shops like Plato’s Closet and Crossroads Trading accept gently used clothing and will pay you for them! If your local shops are shut down due to the pandemic, fret not. Online consignment shops are booming, giving us the option to mail in our old clothing and earn money once they are sold. Some companies like ThredUp and Buffalo Exchange will even send you a pre-paid kit to fill with your clothes and mail in – for FREE! Seriously, it is a no brainer. If you prefer to price your own items and just want a virtual marketplace to showcase your goods, check out Poshmark or Tradesy. Whichever channel you choose, count on pocketing some extra dollars!


    If selling old clothes seems like a chore or you are more interested in helping the less fortunate, donating unwanted clothes is a great option. You can drop off bags at The Salvation Army and Goodwill if you live near one of their locations. Otherwise, there are a number of charities that you can send your old apparel to that will ensure they get into the right hands. For example, Soles 4 Souls distributes gently used shoes to those living in poverty all over the world while Dress for Success provides professional attire to low-income women seeking employment opportunities. With so many inspiring charity organizations to pick from, you really can’t go wrong with donating your old swag.

    Recycle / Repurpose

    If clothes are worn down and beyond the point of donating or reselling, consider recycling or repurposing them. Contrary to belief, recycling clothes has never been easier. Inclusive fashion brand, Universal Standard, recently teamed up with Marimole to offer conscious consumers a way to responsibly recycle 1-4 items of clothing and earn up to $100 to spend on their luxe styles. And that’s not all. Did you know that you can bring old jeans to Madewell for recycling, regardless of their brand, and they will give you a credit to use towards your next purchase? It’s glorious!

    For those of you who are crafty and enjoy a good DIY project, repurposing clothes is a fun way to tap into your creative side. Check out this BuzzFeed article for some inspiration and get to work.

    Leading The Change

    The Council for Textile Recycling found that the average American throws away over 70 pounds of clothing each year, yet we now know that reselling, donating, recycling, and repurposing unwanted clothes are simple ways to lower this number. By practicing these sustainable options, you are playing a critical role in reducing textile landfill waste and manmade carbon emissions. Plan your next closet clean-out accordingly!


    Written by Lexi Young, Team LOUD