So, if you’ve found the RAINE Clothing blog, chances are, you’re looking to make more eco-friendly and sustainable fashion choices to help slow the damage that ‘fast fashion’ companies tend to do to the environment – and that’s great! Shopping more responsibly is a great step towards minimising your own carbon footprint and helping to support more sustainable, ethical clothing choices, but there are some other considerations you need to take into account – like what to do once that clothing is no longer needed.
Why Can’t you Just Throw Old Clothes Away?
A common misconception within the fashion industry is that clothes can just be thrown away when they’re no longer being worn as fabric is, for the most part, biodegradable – and this is technically true. However, very few people know the truth about just how long it can take for certain fabrics to decompose. Lighter fabrics, like cotton, for example, can take about a year to fully decompose, which isn’t terrible, but some fabrics like polyester can take between 20 and 200 years to fully return to the earth! This is why it’s so very important to find more sustainable ways to get rid of clothing you’re no longer getting use out of, as well as making informed decisions about the kinds of fabrics you’re buying.
It’s also worth noting, before we get started, that there are plenty of ways to salvage clothing that is in disrepair, and getting clothes mended or upcycling them can mean you don’t have to part ways with old favourites!
Probably the most commonly used method to get rid of old clothing that’s still in a decent condition, selling old clothes can mean that you avoid contributing to waste, whilst also having the added bonus of making you some spare money! Sites like eBay and Thrift+ are both easy to sign up to, and take little maintenance, whereas the rise of apps like Depop and Vinted mean that you can even sell old clothing straight from your phone. This is a great option if you have a lot of clothing that’s in good condition, and is a great way of getting rid of other items, like toys, books, and electronics that would otherwise likely end up being dumped.
Charity shops are a great place for old clothing, as by donating your items, you’re both contributing to more sustainable and eco-friendly practices around fashion, and supporting a good cause at the same time. Do make sure your clothing is in good condition if you are donating to charity shops, however, as only about 20% of items donated to charity shops are in a good enough condition to resell. Otherwise, try donating to children’s homes, animal shelters (for the less salvageable pieces), or clothing banks, instead.
Give Them Away
There are lots of ways to give clothing away if you’re no longer wanting it – whilst you could try checking with friends or family who might want some of your less-worn clothing, online spaces like Facebook Marketplace can also be a great way to give away items, as people from your local area will be able to see your listings and arrange a time and place for collection with you.
When it comes to old clothing, it’s important to try your best to responsibly dispose of items that you’re no longer interested in having in your wardrobe, and we hope this post has given you some new ideas for exactly how you can go about getting rid of old clothes in a more ethically and ecologically conscious way; whilst shopping for clothing that is responsibly made and opting for more sustainable fashion is a great place to start, it’s important to think about what you can do when that clothing is no longer serving its purpose.
Do you have any other questions around living a more eco-friendly life? Let us know in the comments below if you have any burning questions and we’ll do our best to help!
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