3 Ways to Give Your Old Clothes New Life



Like most people, you probably have clothes languishing at the back of your wardrobe that you have only worn once or twice. But when it comes time to clean out your wardrobe, what do you do with the clothes that you have decided you will never wear again? Here are three simple options!

1. Sell it

In a bid to reduce the amount of perfectly wearable clothing that ends up in landfill, a number of reselling options have popped up in recent years. Depending on whether you want to sell online or offline, to an intermediary or directly to people looking for clothes, there are plenty of options to choose from. Some of the most popular resellers are Poshmark.com (direct resales of designer brands), Plato’s Closet (a physical second-hand clothing store that will buy your old clothes off you) and ThredUp (an intermediary purchaser of second-hand clothing). In addition to these thrifty avenues, clothes can also be resold via online marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace or eBay, as well as listing on a classifieds website like Craigslist.

And, don’t forget about your local community! A quick Google search will reveal locally owned thrift shops, second-hand clothes stores and recycling companies that will pay cash to take your unwanted clothes off you and give them a new lease on life in someone else’s wardrobe. In addition, make sure to check Facebook for local buy-and-sell groups – these groups are usually focused on specific items, such as high-end fashion, kids clothes, or plus-size items.

2. Donate it

If you are feeling more charitable, you can always donate your clothes to goodwill, where the funds generated from second-hand clothes sales go to support charitable work locally and internationally. While previously you would have had to take your clothes to a physical store, some organisations are now offering a wider range of options, such as collection bins (usually located in or around malls or town centres) and curb-side collection services. Check on Google what options are available locally for you, or simply ask your relatives, friends or neighbours for recommendations. Just make sure that any items that you are planning to donate are still wearable – goodwill centres will not accept clothing that is ripped, dirty, stained or so worn that it will not be able to be resold.

Donations do not need to be limited to traditional goodwill, however. For example, many animal shelters will gladly accept old towels and blankets, and local groups (including gyms, medical centres and libraries) will hold clothes and food drives to collect donations, especially around Christmas. Ask the local businesses that you regularly frequent when they are holding their next drive; and they say that they do not collect items for charity, then ask them whether they would be willing to set something up!

3. Repurpose it

While reselling and donating works for clothes that are still in a relatively good shape, what about clothes that have seen their last outing? In such a case, you can consider reusing old clothes at home:

  • When your towels are no longer soft and fluffy, you can reuse them as dog towels (if you have dogs) or give them to friends and family who have pets;
  • You can cut up old t-shirts and bedding into small squares and use them for cleaning up around the house;
  • If you are handy with needle and thread (or a sewing machine) you can remake your old clothes into quilts, pillowcases, or even new clothes!
  • If you are business minded, you can recraft old clothes into pet chews and toys, or even collars and little jackets, depending on the amount of material you have to work with, and sell your creations online on marketplaces like Etsy.

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