Textiles are the Next Frontier of REUSE

We know about recycling our drink containers, paper, and plastics.  What happens to clothing and textiles?  According to Value Village, a thrift store chain in North America, 85% of our clothing gets thrown away.  According to http://textilewastediversion.com, Canada throws enough textiles in our landfills in one year to build the Skydome 3 times.  All of that can’t be beyond use.

So, what can we do about that?  When you are cleaning out your closet, what do you do with your clothing you don’t feel that you need anymore?  Is it actually no good to anyone for anything?  We have a few ideas that could direct those items into another life cycle.

Host a Clothing Exchange

A Clothing Exchange is when you and your friends clean out your closets.  Everyone gets together and brings the items that they don’t want or need anymore.  The items are put out for everyone to look at and they are welcome to whatever they want.  This can be done at the beginning of a season, college students at their dorms, and for kids before school starts.  Get creative.

Sell On-line

We have all seen people selling items on a Facebook page.  People have hosted entire garage sales on-line.  Why not do this with your unwanted clothing.  You can do it all from your smart phone.  Take a picture and post it in a group.  Be sure that you provide the size, price and how a potential customer should contact you.  It is also a good idea to read the group rules before posting.  Different groups limit what you can post or how you post it.

Take your Clothes to a Consignment Shop

If the on-line experience isn’t for you, take those items to a consignment shop and let them deal with the marketing of your clothes and the customers.  Once sold by the store, you receive a percentage of the price it is sold for.  This keeps these items from living out their days in your closet and gives someone else a chance to enjoy them while you put a little money in your pocket.

Donate to a Thrift Store

Thrift stores are usually connected to a non-profit charity or organization, either by purchasing from them, or supporting them through their profits.  By donating to a thrift store, you are using things that you don’t need any more to give back to your community.  This gets these items out of your way, makes useful items accessible to others that may not have the finances to buy it new, and provides funding for local programs or groups in your area.  It is a win/win for everyone.

Try Upcycling

Okay, so maybe some of those items aren’t really in the best shape.  Maybe the t-shirt is stained or the shirt is missing buttons.  That doesn’t mean that they are garbage.  Consider upcycling them into something else.  There is a great on-line resource called Pinterest.  You may have heard of it.  You can get lost in Pinterest and end up with more projects than you ever imagined but you could have the perfect resources on hand.  That t-shirt can be turned into a reusable bag, fabrics can be used to make quilts and rags, and button up shirts can be made into aprons.  There are no limits to what you can do with some creativity, scissors, and fabric glue.

We would love to hear your ideas.  Tell us what you do with your unused items?  We hope this gave you some ideas for future uses.