Donating Old Clothes & Recycling Textiles | Repurposing for A Better Planet!

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donating old clothes

 Donating old clothes hanging idly in your closet makes sense!

I’m talking about items you rarely if ever reach for. Usually this happens when they no longer (or maybe never) fit quite right so they just don’t feel that good. Or they don’t appeal any more. Why let clothing languish in your closet, taking up valuable real estate? My suggestion is to pull ’em out, box ’em up, and let ’em go!

And the same goes for releasing items which never see the light of day. You know, the stuff that is torn, faded or stained. No one else is going to be interested in wearing those, either! However, these are things that can actually be recycled instead of heading to a landfill. Our planet deserves love, too, don’t you think?

As part of my Creating Clarity in Your Closet series, donating and recycling are about letting things go without a monetary gain. But repurposing your stuff to help someone else or the planet will give you a “feel good” boost so let’s dig in to spread some love around!

Today's post reveals resources for donating old clothes, as well as recycling options for items which are no longer wearable.

donating old clothes
image from Pexels

If I open with saying that I don’t know your best donation resources, would you think I’m nuts?

Ha! Allow me to explain by laying a foundation. If I suggested sites that don’t jive with your time capacity or interest, what would be the point?

So instead, start with acknowledging what you are willing and able to do. Then, you can land on the best approach for you!

 

3 Ground Rules for Donating Old Clothes

Firstly, you need to be on board with donating. If you prefer to recoup some of your initial cost, by all means, bypass donation and go the re-sale route.

In fact, some of the top selling resources will also donate on your behalf if your items don’t move, so that saves you dealing with unwanted items a second time. I’ve got a link to a post covering re-sale options down below!

Secondly, how much effort are you willing and able to put in? If time and interest dictate that the easiest route is directly to the nearest Goodwill, just do that! This nationwide resale chain gets dinged for their high corporate salaries and/or the well-heeled shoppers that can lurk in the aisles.

However, there are many admirable initiatives with Goodwill, including job creation. And some shopper will benefit from your donation, so why make this complicated for yourself?

Thirdly, the list is infinitely long for where you can donate clothing.  It’s beyond challenging to be objective with ranking every charity for where to take your attire. All kinds of “best donation center” lists abound on the web if you search with those particular words.

Therefore: land on the choices that align with your personal values and timeline when you do a simple Google search. If there are particular non-profits that speak to your heart, narrow your search results with those in mind, i.e., women’s shelters. 

Ready? Let’s start right there!

places to donate clothes near me
image by gustavo fring from pexels

Best Donation Options

1. In-Person Donation Centers

Enter into your search bar, “where to donate [fill-in-the-blank] near me”. Whether it’s women’s shoes, purses or business suits, type that in and then review your choices. It’s that easy! You decide how far you’re willing to drive. Be sure to call ahead to confirm the donation entity is open for drop offs, that it’s currently accepting said items, and, of course, their hours of operation. 

2. Pick-Up Donation Entities

This time, enter in your search bar, “charities that pick up [fill-in-the-blank] donations near me”. Once again, call to verify what the non-profit is currently accepting. Then make arrangements for the pick up. Even easier, no?

3. Mail-In Donation Options

Lastly, I did this online search for you, with “where to mail in clothing donations”. There are currently two options which provide a postage-paid label:
 

Give Back Box®

This option is a non-profit whose mission seeks to reduce both packaging and clothing waste. There is a tremendous excess of cardboard boxes from online shopping that can be reused (but any box is acceptable for shipping).
 
Consumers pack the box with unwanted clothing and household goods. Then they print a prepaid label to send the contents to the charity of their choice (options are given online).
 
And drop off is allowed at any UPS, FedEx, or USPS location. You can even arrange for a pickup! This worthy program is active in the USA, Canada, and the UK. All the details are here at the Give Back Box® website.
 

Soles4Souls

Next, this second option focuses on shoe donation and helping individuals start reselling businesses. There are thousands of drop off sites across the USA but free shipping via Zappos for Good is available, too! All the details are right here at the Soles4Souls website.

Both these donation options avert dumping more stuff in our landfills, which leads to uncovering your recycling options!

recycling clothes near me
image by valentin antonucci from pexels

Best Recycling Options

What to do with old clothes that that cannot be donated?

When their condition is such that no one else would want to wear them, proceed directly to recycling!

Once again, we’re back to Googling! 

Enter in, “clothing recycling near me” for your best local options. Choose the ones that fit on your calendar and with your personal preferences. As always, call ahead to ensure you know the current policies and procedures.

In addition to the choices that crop up, there are two other worldwide ways to go. Just realize there is a (reasonable) monetary cost with each.

But keep in mind, we all know that there’s a worthwhile price associated with keeping our planet pristine.

1. ReTold Recycling

This is such a fantastic resource because they do it all for you! They make the rounds on your behalf, starting with thrift and charity stores, and then move on to recycling companies who turn fabric into rags, insulation, car seats, and so on.

Consumers can either purchase just one bag or sign up for a subscription of multiple bags during the year. All arrive with prepaid postage labels so you just throw in the clothing and drop it off at the nearest mailing center. The details are here on the Retold Recycling website.

2. TerraCycle®

This company uses a Zero Waste Box® system to recycle even more than just clothing. They also recycle plastics, metal, glass and paint, to mention a few.

Consumers order boxes, pouches (even pallets!), pack ’em up and ship ’em back. How easy is that! The details are on TerraCycle’s How it Works page.

The Wrap with Mary V
image by content pixie from pexels

The Wrap: This Post Was About Donating Old Clothes & Recycling Unwearable Items to Create Clarity in Your Closet.

When you no longer need, use, or want what’s in your closet, consider redistributing the items through donation or recycling.

Someone in need can give love to your no longer wanted items. And diverting excess stuff from a landfill is the right thing to do! 

Make room for what truly suits your present lifestyle!

Your turn!

 

  • Where is your favorite place for donating old clothes?
  • What items are the hardest to release from your closet?

Share your thoughts with us below. Let’s chat … and thanks for stopping by!

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