What You Should Do with Used Clothes
Are you one of the many many parents who are amazed at how quickly your kids go through clothes? Between food and play stains, rips and holes, and outgrowing them before you can blink an eye, your kids’ closets may feel like a revolving door – out with the old, in with the new. Today we’re talking about what you should do with used clothes so you can do your part in saving the environment and perhaps save a little money at the same time.
First, a word about why throwing away clothes is a terrible idea: Of the 26 billion pounds of textiles that end up in landfills every year, approximately 95% could be reused or recycled. In landfills, clothing breaks down into carbon dioxide and methane gas, which is harmful to our bodies and the environment. Additionally, when you throw away clothes rather than giving someone else a chance to use them, you’re contributing to the massive amount of energy and resources wasted by the fashion industry, not to mention extreme pollution.
Now that we’ve discussed what you shouldn’t do with used clothes, let’s talk about what you should do with used clothes:
The best thing to do with gently used clothes is to share them with others who could use them. Assuming the stains and holes are minimal, pass along hand-me-down clothes to younger siblings, cousins and friends. If you don’t know of anyone who could use them, take them to a donation center or family shelter, or consign items that are in great condition.
Even if you feel your clothes are beyond use, never throw them away! There are tons of things to do with used clothes that you may not realize. First off, consider making rags out of your kids’ old clothes, which you can use around your house. They are especially great for outdoor cleaning projects and car washes.
Once you’re stocked with household rags, set aside items that you believe cannot be sold by donation centers or worn by others. While you’re probably right to think someone may not want to wear the clothes, there are plenty of other things they can be used for. Donation centers like Goodwill and Salvation Army as well as other organizations like Planet Aid accept used textiles that can be repurposed for many amazing things. For example:
Clothing can be used for pillow stuffing, carpet padding, baseball filling, paper money and fuel bricks.
The soles of shoes can be repurposed for sports fields, playground surfaces and athletic tracks. (Nike and Converse will help you recycle old shoes of any brand!)
Jeans make excellent insulation for homes and businesses.
Leather items can be remade into other items for sale. For instance a purse can become a pair of shoes.
Eyeglasses can be given to people in need in underdeveloped countries.
Your kids’ old clothes have tons of uses even if they are no longer wearable. Make the world a better place for your kids by following these ideas for what you should do with used clothes.
Sources: Upworthy, Real Simple and Planet Aid