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How to Recycle Used Clothing

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There are tons of reasons to want to get rid of your clothing: it’s gone out of style, you can’t stand to wear that color anymore, that was the dress your ex-boyfriend who cheated on you gave you and more. We attach memories to our clothes and associate them with certain times in our lives. As much as some of us hate to give up our clothing, knowing it’s going to someone who will enjoy it always makes me feel better.

The first way is pretty basic: donate your clothes to a local charity. Every town has a Goodwill or charity that distributes clothing and other items to those in need. When you drop off your clothes to a local charity you get a tax write-off, which can go to replenishing your wardrobe.

The second is to have a clothing swap. Here everyone brings their gently used clothing and you trade with your friends. The ideal place to do this is at someone’s house where there are large mirrors to see how things fit, a few bottles of wine and some delicious food to snack on. You’ll be exchanging more than clothes as you share memories of things that happened when you wore this skirt or those boots.

Third way is to turn your clothes into something new, or upcycle your clothing. A recent article I read mentioned cutting up a scarf and using it to create a flower-like adornment for an old pair of shoes. You can do anything from painting shoes a new color to mixing and matching fabrics to sew a new dress or skirt from old materials. You can add some bling to your clothes by adding some beading or gems. This works really well with shoes and with shirts, tank tops and more. If you’re handy you could use your old clothing to make a jacket or booties for your pet.

If you have clothing on its last legs with holes and ripped fabrics, consider cutting it up and using it as dust clothes and cleaning rags. Really, nothing needs to hit the landfill until it is literally threads.

Those who are interested in recycling clothing and not wasting materials should consider hemp clothing or organic clothing when buying a new wardrobe. Buy at a thrift shop or clothing swap to keep your impact on the earth’s resources minimal.

So before you get rid of some great clothing, think of how you can recycle, upcycle or reuse your clothing. Waste not, want not!

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