Did you know most clothes we donate to thrift stores end up in landfill? Companies are mass producing so many clothes that supply far outweighs demand and thrift stores simply can’t contain them all. And that’s how they end up in the trash instead of being used. Here are 3 things to do with your old clothes instead of donating them.
Whenever I talk about this topic on Instagram I always get pushback. And I understand. People think I’m saying we shouldn’t donate to those in need but instead make a profit off our clothes. (But honestly, what’s so wrong with making a little money back?) I’m not. I am pro donating, especially to people that need them. Women’s and veteran’s shelters are always looking for quality clothes. Please donate to them when you can! I’m simply talking about packing up your clothes and dropping them off at the local thrift shops. And look, that’s great too! Especially if you just need to get them out of your house. But thrift stores throw out so many clothes each month either because they have holes or are stained, or they simply do not have the room.
Almost 84 percent of donated clothes end up in a landfill, according to the EPA.
Instead, here are alternatives to donating old clothes that allow them to be used right away.
Alternatives to Donating Old Clothes
1. Sell them.
There are countless places to sell your used, but in good condition clothes nowadays. Poshmark and Threadup remain two of the most popular websites to sell. I like Poshmark because I can get a higher return, but love Threadup because it’s quick and easy. Threadup mails you a “cleanup bag” and pays you once items sell.
Facebook Marketplace is also growing in popularity. That’s actually where I buy my Lilly Pulitzer clothes for a great deal! If selling certain brands, such as Lilly Pulitzer, you may find pages devoted to those products. Otherwise, I’d suggest bundling like items as they sell better in bundles, especially kid’s clothes.
Consignment shops also remain popular. I know lots of people who shop from and sell to Once Upon a Child all the time.
Don’t let anyone guilt you into selling your clothes instead of giving them away. Why not make back a little extra money from what you bought?
2. Give them directly to a friend or family member.
t’s much better to give directly to someone who will wear them tomorrow than to sit in a warehouse. Plus, you’ll know they are enjoyed! Beyond friends and family, you can look for “No Buy” Facebook groups that allow you to post free items or accept free items from others in return. It’s a great way to swap what you no longer need and possibly something you do need at the same time. My community even has a community-wide consignment shop page on Facebook for this very reason. It’s quick and easy to pick up!
3. Donate to shelters.
Women’s shelters or even veterans’ shelters are always looking for quality clothes. I know shelters in particular are always looking for nice business casual clothes to help people return to work. Seriously consider this route before donating to a thrift shop next time you clean out your closet.
4. Cut up to make rags.
I always cut up very old and worn t-shirts to make rags instead of donating them. Thrift stores will immediately discard any ripped or stained clothes so you might as well use them to clean your house! Personally, I love my husband’s old undershirts and baby onesies. Cut up they are the perfect size for small messes around your house. If this is your cup of tea, then you’ll also enjoy this post on 6 practical ways to live more sustainably.
I hope you enjoyed this post on alternatives to donating your old clothes. Let me know what else you do with yours below!