How to Get Rid of Your Clothes Responsibly

How to Get Rid of Your Clothes Responsibly

How to Get Rid of Your Clothes Responsibly

How to get rid of old clothes sensibly  

Our closets frequently bear witness to a never-ending cycle of purchase and disposal in this day of fast fashion and trends. But as concern for environmental sustainability increases, so does the need to dispose of clothing in a responsible manner. The process of giving up clothing can be just as powerful as buying it in the first place. There are a few different methods you can use to get rid of the things you don't need in your closet instead of just throwing them in the trash. Here’s how to properly and responsibly handle that declutter. 



You always have the option to donate to local charity, but before you take a van load of stuff down to a store, make sure you find out what they are and aren't accepting. The website of your chosen charity should provide information on your nearby store or drop-off location, as well as any rules you should be aware of about item donations. Donation Town is a useful service that comes and picks up anything you're giving away; it uses your zip code to generate a list of local charities. Local shelters will also take any clothes in wearable condition. If you have any work attire in good condition, you’re looking to get rid of, Dress for Success is a charity that assists low-income women in finding employment. To help care for their rescues, animal shelters frequently accept donations of towels, blankets, and fur. Fabric remains are also used in certain daycare centers and schools for arts and crafts. Please note, if you don’t carefully sort through your donation items and follow donation rules, they will discard most of your donated items in the trash.  


An example of this is Goodwill. You may think that you’re helping out, but like most retail stores, items that are not sold will go to other centers or be thrown out. Items that are stained or just don’t make sense for Goodwill or similar donation centers to sell, immediately get thrown in the trash. So, if you think taking all your unwanted clothes that are stained, torn or not sellable to Goodwill is helpful, you’re still adding to the global issue of trashing clothing masked by a false sense of “do good.”  



Roughly 95% of all materials have the potential to be recycled and transformed into new materials. It also means that you can essentially always use your local clothes donation bins or ship unwanted garments to a recycling center. This method of getting rid of your gently used clothing is far more ecological and socially conscious, and it also lessens the quantity of waste that ends up in landfills. Sites like THRAD UP partner with brands to reward you for recycling your clothing. THRED UP allows you to send in your old clothing and get gift cards back from companies involved. Popular brands like Lululemon, H&M, Free People, and Ann Taylor LOFT are a part of this recycling process.  

Another fantastic tool, (and hopefully one you see on here soon), are recycling programs like Trashie or For Days. Typically, you pay up to $20 for a bag to put as many fabric items as the weight limit allows. They can be stained, torn, used, and can even include old underwear. You scan a QR code and mail it to their warehouse where they will recycle it all for you. There's essentially zero waste. With the money you spend they will offer a credit towards their own eco conscious clothing lines or for gift cards to places like Ulta, Sephora, etc. The only caveat is you have to do have to spend money upfront and requires you to drop something off at your local post office or wherever they pick up. If it’s in your budget, it’s 100% worth it in our opinion compared to other donation options (unless clothes are in pristine condition).  



Repurposing clothes offers a variety of creative possibilities for breathing new life into old garments and reducing waste. Old fabrics can be turned into rags, jeans can be made into shorts, and scraps can be used for art projects. By transforming old clothes into something new and exciting, you can express your individuality and stand out from the crowd. Whether you're upcycling thrift store finds, giving new purpose to sentimental items, or simply experimenting with DIY fashion projects, repurposing clothes empowers you to reclaim ownership over your wardrobe and reduce your environmental footprint. Repurposing clothes not only extends their lifespan but also allows for personalized, sustainable fashion statements. The only con is it requires time and the ability to sew and cut patterns. However, there are people and services where you can send in your items to be repurposed for you, and yes that will cost whatever they charge.  


Resale and Thrifting 

Thrifting or selling your old clothing not only offers a long-term solution to reduce textile waste, but it also benefits the environment in several ways. First, it prolongs clothing life, lowering the need for new clothing and, in turn, the environmental costs of producing textiles, such as water and chemical use, and greenhouse gas emissions. We keep clothing out of landfills, where it would cause pollution and take years for it to decompose, by giving used goods a second opportunity through resale or thrift store purchasing. Additionally, by decreasing the demand for new materials, promoting the reuse and repurposing of existing resources, and protecting priceless natural resources, thrifting supports a circular economy. By donating or selling clothing, you help people have access to reasonably priced and fashionable options, which promotes careful buying habits and decreases the pressure on fast fashion companies to create an excessive amount of disposable apparel. In conclusion, thrifting or selling used clothing is not only a wise financial decision, but it's also a key environmental move that promotes sustainability and leaves the earth in better shape for coming generations. 


Sustainability Goals 

Here at Bag It Up Boutique we take sustainability very seriously. We started out reselling on Poshmark where we would get pallets that were going to be trashed from major corporations like Target, Walmart, Zulily, Michael Kors, and others, and resell for a cheaper cost. We also do our best to source from manufacturers and companies that ethically source their materials and offer safe work environments. Many of the businesses we work with are often small, locally owned as well that handcraft their items. Most, if not all, are women-owned, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and/or AAPI businesses.  


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