what to do with unwanted clothes

What To Do With Old/Unwanted Clothes

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If you want to declutter your wardrobe, then you will need to decide what to do with the clothes you don’t want anymore. It can sometimes feel overwhelming when you have piles and piles of unwanted clothes. Even though it might seem tempting to throw them in the bin so you don’t have to look at them, there are much better options than that.

Avoid putting things in the bin as much as possible. It should be the very last option if you really can’t do anything else.

Decluttering is a popular option for those who want to start a minimalist lifestyle. If you want to simplify your life, clearing your wardrobe is a great way to start. You also waste less time deciding on outfits and organizing everything.

So let’s get into what you can do with your old or unwanted clothes. You might be surprised by a few.

9 Ways To Get Rid Of Unwanted Clothes

01. Sell it

Did you know you can sell your clothes online? There are countless apps and websites that allow you to do this. And it’s super easy too. All you need to do is sign up, take a few photos, and then wait for responses to start rolling in.

Some popular ones that you might have heard of are depop, Etsy, and then we have eBay of course. It’s becoming easier than ever to sell your clothes and get a little extra cash. I would definitely recommend this option.

Give your preloved clothes a second life and allow someone else to wear and love them.

02. Mend it

Perhaps you have some old clothes that you still love but are not in the best condition. In this case, you can learn how to mend them. It’s not as hard as it sounds. It’s a skill that can easily be learned by anyone. I recently took on this task and was quite enjoyable.

If you have ink stains or holes in your jumpers or jeans, get creative and start mending. In most cases, all you will need is some thread and a needle.

03. Upcycle it

If your clothes are worn out and you don’t like them anymore, turn them into something else. Pillowcase, bags, towels, rags, and more. Get creative and keep your clothes out of the bin for as long as possible. This is the kind of circular thinking we need more of in our society.

There are so many ways you could transform your clothes. Consider making sewing your new hobby. I find upcycling so much fun.

I recently turned a skirt I didn’t like anymore into a bag. It feels good to have something unique that you made with your own hands. Maybe you could make a reusable face mask. Creating your own face mask is a great way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while protecting the environment.

what to do with unwanted clothes

04. Recycle it

It doesn’t matter what condition your clothes are in. Pretty much any fabric can be recycled. Recycling your clothes is yet another way you can give your unwanted clothes a second life.

If you don’t know where you can do this, here is a website to tell you the nearest collection points. Simply take your clothes to the nearest one and they’ll take it from there. They can transform them into new materials and be used to make new clothes for companies to sell.

There are already many sustainable fashion brands that are using recycled fabrics rather than brand new ones. It reduces carbon dioxide emissions and reduces the need to cultivate or create new fabrics.

05. Donate it to thrift stores

Thrift stores are always looking for more clothes to sell. Next time you visit one, ask them if you can bring your unwanted clothes. Most likely they will accept. But make sure everything is in decent condition otherwise, they will just throw it away in the bin.

From what I’ve seen, more people are choosing to thrift shop since concerns about fast fashion continue to arise. Be part of this great thrifting community and donate your clothes instead of sending them to landfill.

Also, if you buy an item from brands like Patagonia and Tonlé you can send their clothes back when you don’t want them anymore and they sell them at a reduced price.

07. Donate it to charities

This one is similar to the above but this time, your clothes will be used to help those in need who perhaps can’t afford to buy clothes. Support your local charity by giving them your unwanted clothes. I’m sure they will appreciate it.

Or look for any clothes banks near you. They are not common everywhere. It will depend on where you live but look out for them. There are quite a few Salvation Army clothes banks around the country. With a quick google search, you can find the nearest one to you.

08. Do a clothes swap

Find some friends to do a clothes swap with. This can be so much fun. You all get new clothes without spending a cent. We all like updating our wardrobe every once in a while and this is probably one of the best ways to do it.

It requires no effort basically. Just call up your friends and get together one day. Maybe you don’t like a piece of clothing anymore but your friend might love it.

09. Do a garage sale

This is one that many don’t think about. If you have loads and loads of things to get rid of, this will be a good option for you. Set up a table or something outside your house and put all the clothes you don’t want. You could even make a bit of money from doing this. Not much but it’s still something.

Even if this is not an option for you, don’t worry because you have 8 other options to choose from.


As you can see, you have a lot of options. The deciding factor will be in how good of a condition each garment is. Remember first try to mend it or upcycle it yourself. If you don’t or can’t do that then try to recycle it. If it’s in good condition choose to sell it online. If would try selling your clothes and if you can’t sell them, then donate them. That’s the ideal order as sometimes charity shops get overwhelmed with donations and are forced to throw away a lot of what they get.

However, that depends with each local store.

The takeaway from this article is this. Don’t just throw your unwanted clothes in the bin. Always try to keep things from going to landfill. Don’t create waste if it can be avoided.

All images from Unsplash

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