Reducing Waste: Handling Used Clothes to Save the Environment

The entire world has a problem with textile waste. In Australia, the average person will discard 23 kilograms of clothing annually. And they go straight to the landfill. When textiles decompose, they release greenhouse gasses and toxic chemicals that negatively affect the environment and contribute to climate change.

And for this reason, more individuals are making more conscious decisions about their clothes. Some only buy sustainable clothing. And most consumers are looking for durable clothing so that they don’t have to keep discarding and buying clothes.

Everyone needs to put more effort into reducing textile waste to protect the environment. The simplest way to do this is to avoid discarding the clothes you already own. And you can do any of the following strategies to achieve that goal:

Repair Your Clothes

When you love your clothes so much, you may tend to use them over and over. The wear and tear will cause issues in these pieces of clothing, such as rips, holes, or broken stitches. Check if these issues are still fixable. And if they are, the best move is to repair these clothes instead of throwing them away.

Some problems will need sewing skills. But if you don’t know how to sew, you can always watch tutorial videos online or ask a friend or family member to teach you. This means that you’ll have to invest in a small sewing kit if you don’t already have one.

You can also take one step further and get yourself a portable sewing machine. Doing so will make repairing clothes easier, and you’ll be more committed to repairing your clothes in the long term.

UpcycleYour Clothes

Some clothes may be damaged beyond repair but still have usable parts. In this case, you canupcycleyour clothes instead.

For example, say you have a pair of jeans with one ripped pant leg. You can cut the pants and turn them into a pair of shorts. Or you can take the good parts of the jeans and make something new out of them, such as a coin purse, a coaster, or aplacemat.

You can also make kids’ clothes from your other clothes. For instance, you can get boys’ patterns for sewing and make a nice kiddie shirt. Or, if you havea lot of shirtmaterial to work with, you can make a pair of pyjamas. Then you can give these new clothes to a family member or a relative.

Sell Them Online

You can make money out of your old clothes by selling them online.Recommerce, or the act of reselling items, is on the rise in the past few years as more individuals are making mindful buying decisions. Also, a lot of people prefer buyingpre-loveditems to save money.

You can take advantage of this trend and resell yourpre-lovedclothes that are still in good condition. Sell clothes that you no longer use and have only worn a few times. Even better if they’re in almost-new condition.There’s no use keeping them if you haven’t put them on for more than a month. Selling your clothes will also minimise your wardrobe and have more space for other things.

Trade with Friends

Another way to avoid throwing away clothes is to swap with your friends. This can be a bonding opportunity for you and your friends. You get to try new clothes without having to spend money. And you can also explore other fashion styles if you and your friends have different fashion preferences.

Talk to your friends if they’re willing to trade clothes with you. If they are, you can set rules on what kinds of clothes you can swap, what their condition should be, and so on.


If you want to reduce your clothing waste and help others as well, donate your clothes.

Check online for charities that accept clothes. Donate articles of clothing in good condition and that you would wear yourself if they were given to you by someone else. Don’t donate clothes that you find unacceptable by your standards. You can also repair some of your clothes first before donating to improve their quality.

Another option is to donate clothes to thrift stores. Someone else can give your clothes a second life. Some thrift stores also use their earnings to help vulnerable groups. So by donating clothes, you indirectly help others.

There are many ways for you to give your unused clothes another chance. Prioritise these options before throwing them away for the good of the many.