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Article: How to recycle your clothes

11 white, cream and ivory coloured spools of cotton and wool are jumbled together on a white table
Ethical Fashion

How to recycle your clothes

11 white, cream and ivory coloured spools of cotton and wool are jumbled together on a white table


To most of us, recycling is an everyday activity that requires little thought - but have you ever thought about recycling your old clothes?

Every second, the equivalent of a rubbish truck of clothes is burnt or buried in a landfill. This daunting figure could be significantly reduced if everyone took initiative to recycle their unwanted clothing, inturn reinventing the fashion industry.  

According to a study conducted by the UK Gov, if every Briton purchased one item made from recycled wool every year, it would save 371 million gallons of water, 480 tonnes of chemical dyes and 4571 million days of an average family’s electricity needs.

This is a massive environmental impact, so we thought we would dive into some of the easy ways to effectively recycle...

Donate unwanted products to Textile Banks

Every year, the UK throws out 336,000 tonnes of unwanted clothing! Textile Banks are an easy solution to give our old clothing and other textile products a new lease of life. 

Recycle Now has a search tool to help you find your nearest Textile Bank by simply typing in your postcode - these banks are found at most supermarket car parks! The recycling collection points even accept items which have long surpassed their original use, as these garments can be made into completely new items, such as padding for chairs, cleaning clothes or even industrial blankets!


In a car park, a bright green metal container with a red label saying 'recycle your textile and shoes here!' stands


Give any old textile products to an Animal Shelter

Bedding material in any animal shelter is consistently an essential - accidents, chewing and general wear and tear makes bedding difficult to keep in stock! Any old bedding, clothes, blankets or towels - regardless of their condition can be transformed into much needed bedding!

Donate to registered charities

Any unwanted clothing that is still in good condition, why not donate to a registered charity? Through donating your unwanted clothing, these charities can continue to do their incredible work, whilst giving your old clothes a new lease of life! Donating to a charity shop has never been easier, charities such as the British Heart Foundation offer a free home collection service or alternatively you can use The Charity Retail Website to find your nearest charity shop! 

Other ways to give your clothes a longer life:

Rent your clothes

If you need space in your wardrobe but you are not ready to permanently say goodbye, why not rent your clothes instead? Platforms such as MyWardrobeHQ and ByRotation makes renting your clothes a very easy and beneficial process - both for your purse and our planet! 

Sell your unwanted clothes

Online platforms such as Depop and Vinted have made selling your unwanted clothes a very easy process! What’s even better is that your items do not have to be in perfect condition to sell on (as long as you acknowledge it), as you can sell it to someone who can fix the garment giving it a new lease of life!


High-end clothes in shades of white, cream and blue hang on wooden hangers in a modern shop


Buy from brands who support the Circular Fashion Pledge

The Circular Fashion Pledge strives to reduce the impact of the Fashion Industry on our planet, as each year the Fast Fashion industry produces over 92 million tonnes of waste. 

The key aim of the Circular Fashion movement is to keep garments in the ‘useful’ stage of their consumption for as long as possible. This can only be achieved by supporting signatory brands like Y.O.U Underwear, who have pledged to resell their used items, increase recycled content and design garments for durability.

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Written by Isabella Richardson

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