5 Creative Ways to Recycle Old Clothes

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I have clothes in my closet that I have been carting around since probably middle school (I’ll never let you go, jean jacket!). I like to try to get as much wear out of my clothing as possible, so I’m always on the lookout for new ways to make clothes last longer. But every now and then, there comes a time when you simply need to let certain pieces go — whether they’ve seen better days or you simply don’t wear them anymore.

So what can you do with old clothes that no longer have a place in your closet? Quite a few things actually. I’ve rounded up five creative ways you can recycle, reuse or pass on the pieces you no longer need–and I challenge you to look in your closet and try one of these ideas for yourself!

Host a Clothing Swap

This is by far one of my favorite ways to recycle old clothes. Host a clothing swap at your home and invite friends, family or neighbors. Bring the stuff you no longer need or wear, and have your guests do the same.

You’ll have a blast trying on each other’s clothes, and if you’re lucky, you’ll come home with a few new pieces you love. Whatever isn’t claimed at the end of the swap can be donated to a local charity or organization that recycles old clothes. This brings us to our next tip…

Give for a Good Cause

One of the best ways to recycle old clothes is to donate them to a charitable organization. There are many organizations that take specific types of clothing. For example, you can donate business wear to Dress for Success, an organization that provides professional wear to women. Check this list of groups that accept old clothing, and clear out your closet for a good cause.

If you find yourself at a loss for what to do with items that are too worn or tatty to donate, donate them anyway. If they’re not used or sold within a certain time frame at a charitable store, then they’re sold to textile recycling companies and turned into all sorts of different items.

Find a Use Around the House

Even if the clothes are ratty and worn, don’t throw them out with the garbage. Old t-shirts make great household cleaning rags, and old towels are great to use when bathing pets!

Make a T-Shirt Quilt

I love t-shirts. I collect them all over the place, and often wear my favorites until they’re ragged. The problem? I have two full drawers of t-shirts taking up space in my dresser. A great way to recycle old clothes — especially your favorite tees — is to turn them into a quilt. If you’re crafty, there are many tutorials online.

Upcycle Your Favorites

Everyone has items in their closet they no longer wear, but just can’t bear to part with. Can’t decide what to do with those old clothes? Upcycle! Similar to the t-shirt quilt idea, why not give your favorite pair of jeans or even an old suit jacket new life as a cool tote bag?

Or, turn an old dress shirt into an adorable apron. When you refurbish your favorite clothing items, you can treasure them for many more years, without taking up all that extra closet space!

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Bonus: Donate With Give Back Box!

I saved one of the easiest ways to recycle old clothes for last! BLINQ has partnered with Give Back Box to make donating your old clothes (and other items) insanely easy. All you have to do is pack up your BLINQ box (or any box) with unused or unwanted clothes, shoes, jewelry or household items, and print out a free shipping label (yes, free!). Then simply drop off your donation at any UPS or USPS location, or schedule a pickup. Your box will be routed to a local participating organization that either sells, recycles or donates your unwanted items.

How do you like to recycle, reuse or donate your old clothes? At BLINQ, we’re all finding more sustainable solutions for everyday issues, so we always love learning new tips and tricks for recycling old clothes and other items. Sound off in the comments below!

Author: Katie

A Tar Heel born and bred, Katie hails from the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. When she isn’t writing or shopping online, you can find her hiking a mountain trail, perfecting her no-bake cookie recipe, or secretly reading romance novels on her Kindle.

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