Getting Rid Of Last Leg Clothes

I went through another cleaning and decluttering phase in January. I’m that person who has a hole in their sleeping t-shirt (which was once a going into public t-shirt) and still proclaims that it’s still good. How many holes are one too many?? Exactly.

Photo by Charles Etoroma on Unsplash

But I decided that some were truly past their used by dates, it was time to go. I had kept old ones around for cleaning, to line the carpet before painting, to wrap a hot water bottle in etc. I know other people use them as hair drying wraps. But there was too many of these old pieces around not to mention my old holey cleaning socks.

My next problem was how do you recycle used fabrics? There are ample places to donate clothes that can still have another life but what about the clothes that are on their last legs (to avoid landfill)?

I had something in mind like from this BBC video that I have embedded above but after searching, didn’t really find any place that I could drop these too. Sadly, they went into the bin.

Which then led me to my next question. Should clothing recycling be something that we could include in our biweekly recycling from our local councils? At the moment in Sydney, it isn’t and only limited to paper, tin, cans and glass.The average Australian purchases 27kg of clothing each year. And 23kgs of that ends up in landfill.

Is it time for the world to also think about the other end of the fashion cycle and how we can break it down and reuse to make new products?

Is there somewhere near where you live that recycles the oldest of used clothing?

Related Posts:
How we can turn waste into other products
How I started on my sustainability journey
Ways to reuse clothing

9 thoughts on “Getting Rid Of Last Leg Clothes

  1. I am in this cycle as well. I had to smile when I saw your post cuz it feels relatable. Come to think of it, I still have clothes which I wear pre-baby and it still fits me until now…perhaps some with sentimental value but yes–they also need to go. I am decluttering as well my daughter´s toys and lots of stuff in her bedroom. I guess this year I would like to declutter as much as possible.
    Speaking of recyling old clothes, here in Germany, we have a thing about giving away ( not always being sold… or asking money for it!) clothes to other children, friends or even just dump it into the charity box. It feels great to open the closet without things falling out from it!

    1. I can’t imagine how many clothes and toys kids go through! Decluttering was for me was also a ‘out with the old’ mentality finally coming out of this pandemic. We also have charity boxes here but what happens to clothes that shouldn’t be donated to charity because they are too old?

  2. Honestly, I wear my shirts until they are absolutely hole-y to no extent (although to be fair, I only wear them inside the house, not in public!). Usually, when they become too hole-y to wear, I end up tossing them– however, the idea of reusing them when painting or perhaps as rags would be a better idea, to extend their shelf life!

  3. I have old shirts like you – that I wear to bed and have holes. They are still comfy. They also make great cleaning rags and painting rags, and I have even upcycled them to rag rugs, or new scrap bags or new clothes. I recently sent some old clothes and textiles off to the Victorian company: Upparel – they recycle clothes to make socks with funky designs and give you a credit for their shop as well with your first parcel.
    H&M also take textile donations of any kinds to recycle giving you a small discount on your next purchase.
    Sustainable fashion is growing!

  4. Pingback: Turning Waste Into New Materials – Lingo in Transit

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