Discard your clothes right and stop them from ending up in landfill
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How to discard your clothes and stop them from ending up in landfills?

The most treasured pieces in your wardrobe deserve a proper farewell. Our list has all the right (and sustainable) answers for you.

By Shivya Kumar Verma

Clothes are an essential requirement of our day to day life. They play indispensable role in the flight of our lives, in many ways. Primarily, they help provide with a sense of security and comfort. But that is not only why we purchase and have tons of clothes in our wardrobes.

Clothes for many is a source of self-confidence. A clothing article can speak out volumes about an individuals persona loud and clear. One might think, how a piece of garment can express so many emotions, but it is true how a simple piece of cloth can do wonders. It can speak high intellect in terms of culture, sentiments, passion and feelings. Clothes have an attribute to illustrate an exclusive exhibit.

Even though we may have such an emotional connection with our clothes, they are not so permanent. With changing seasons, styles, fashion, times and designs, clothing loses its original essence and eventually become worn out.

We may bring a new piece of clothing in our lives with the utmost joy. But when it comes to discarding them, we are not sure how to do it. Often, it is an unemotional process and clothes are merely thrown out, never to be seen again. But does this process have to be this cruel? Don’t our clothes deserve a proper farewell irrespective of how they look or feel now?

Luckily for us, there are more than enough ways to be mindful and sustainable ways when ridding ourselves of what we no longer need. Here we have curated a list of things you can do with the clothes you no longer need anymore. These ways respect the journey our clothes have made and give them a well-deserved goodbye they deserve.

D.I.Y. into something new

The first step is to judge whether you are discarding clothes only because you may be bored with it. If that is the case, then it is time for a revamp. Transform your apparel into something practical, regardless of whether it is a carpet, blanket, or supermarket pack.

You can (without much of a stretch) transform your old shirts into a floor mat using easy weaving or knotting techniques at home. Adding an easy tutorial for you here.

A simple tutorial by Simply D.I.Y.

Most dire outcome imaginable? Use them as cleaning rags around the house. T-shirts are simple to wash, easy to store, and a piece of free cleaning equipment readily available to reuse.

D.I.Y. into something old

In case you’re in love with your garments regardless of its flaws and tears, you can fix it up to have a rather new-looking version of it. Think of it as an update your clothes needed to last longer.

Got a tough stain on your jeans? Paint or stitch something over it. Get creative not just to hide the stain but transform the jeans into a new piece altogether. Similarly, rethink small holes in your t-shirts. Rhea Muthane, a textile designer, is changing the way people see their clothes. Her Instagram initiative #100waysofmending is helping bring to light the beautiful process of repairing our clothes and what we can do with it.

A post where Rhea transforms a t-shirt rip into something fun by sewing a snake.

You may need a sewing class on the web, or an easy in-person workshop to make these transformations. It will give you all the instruments you require to renew your most cherished pieces. So, get your sewing kit together and start mending.

Clothing swap with friends & family

What is more enjoyable than welcoming your friends and family over for a customary dress trade? Have every participant bring 5-10 pieces they presently don’t wear that are still in acceptable condition, set out
certain hors d’oeuvres and kick the gathering off.

You can even uplift the expectation with some photographs of what you’re parting with. Everybody will
leave with another closet and feel considerably more energized for next time. Sounds like an idea. Plus, with our comfort with virtual communication, we can easily have the same with friends and family in different cities and courier each other the goodies. Now that is the type of online shopping we want – ethical and guilt-free.

Thrift it up

Thrifting is a booming market today. There are tons of thrift stores; both online and offline can help you discard your clothes and provide the joy of owning to someone else. Our list of Instagram thrift stores should get you started on the online journey of thrifting. If you and your friends have enough stock, then set up your own Instagram thrift store. It is easy and an excellent way to find thrift store enthusiasts like yourself. For offline stores, a quick Google search in your general vicinity ought to kick things off.

Consign and resell

If the pieces you’re hoping to part with still have labels or are scarcely worn, you can rapidly toss them on a site like eBay or OLX. Another medium to use can be Facebook Marketplace. Its location-based system helps you connect with buyers near you.

As a plus point, this will help bring in cash without leaving the vicinity of your home. These locales offer you a payout for each piece. All you need to do is transport or courier the items. If you’d prefer to sell them face to face, different private companies help give help in your particular territory.

Host a garage sale

Garage sales are a fun way of giving away your old clothes and earning some extra bucks. Setting up one is also easy enough. Get in touch with your local community or resident association to understand how and when you can set up one. Spread the word in your neighbourhood and online to get visitors.

Donate to those in need

If you don’t see your clothes as a resale item, then think of donating them. Various charities and organisations collect to have multiple drop-off points in city centres. Get in touch with them over a call or on social media on what they need and how you can help. This article by The Better India has a list of charities that could use your donations.

Before packing up your donation boxes, remember to wash the clothes, dry and pack them neatly. They may not be as unique to you anymore, but they can still bring a smile on someone’s face, someone in need.

Textile recycling

There are definitely a set of pants that you have ripped due to multiple wears or a shirt that you couldn’t stand to leave behind until it had openings in the sleeves. If your apparel is at the verge of an unwearable stage, consider giving to your nearby textile recycler. It can be a small designer who works exclusively with textile waste or a brand that upcycles waste into wonder. Find them through local yellow pages, internet or social media search.

When it comes to textile waste, India does not have to manage its destruction but also what is dumped from western countries. The majority of these textiles can be reused and turned into something new through various businesses working to curb this waste.

Our list has eight different ways that you can choose from to bid adieu to your clothes. That is eight new possibilities for your clothes. Our clothes do deserve respect throughout their entire journey with us and discarding them the right way is what they need at the end of a loving relationship.


Shivya is currently pursuing her bachelor’s in BA public policy. Since a young age, she has had a keen interest in writing. She has been part of many anthologies and got her first poem published in a children’s magazine when she was young. She recently launched her poetry book by the name Amare. Shivya is currently working as a content writer with Giri foundation.

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