Why you should NEVER throw your clothes away (and how to recycle them!) – TIPS & TRICKS

Why you should NEVER throw your clothes away (and how to recycle them!)

In our wardrobes, 68% of our clothes would not be worn. This can also be explained here by colonies of uncomfortable clothes, not in your size or which do not fit your favorite style such as the presence of worn or damaged parts (distorted t-shirt, worn pants, socks with holes, etc. ) that you no longer dares to wear. We may want to be tempted to a large assortment, but what to do with all parts that are still in good condition or worn to the extreme? If you can’t wear or repair these clothes or shoes, the worst thing you can do is throw them away! Find out why the trash can is the worst destination for your unused wardrobe and alternative solutions.

Throwing away your clothes: why is it such a bad idea?

Some numbers that speak volumes:
Almost 700,000 tons per year clothes are bought in France, ie 30 kilos per inhabitant per year
– Less than a quarter is ultimately recycled
-Unworn purchases represent an average of 114 euros in our cupboards.
-Between 10,000 and 20,000 tons of textile products are thrown away every year in France
85 % clothes end up in the trash
-Every year a Frenchman throws away an average of 12 kg of clothes, shoes and bedding

overconsumption clothes
Credit: iStock

Behind these colossal figures hides an often obscured reality: after the oil industry, the fashion industry is the second most polluting in the world. In addition to the environmental costs, there are disastrous social consequences. More and more stimulated by our consumerism and the attractiveness of fast fashion, this sector is also constantly growing. And if you don’t stop buying clothes, you can learn to live with this reality by doing good everyday actions.

But among these good gestures, there is above all the fact that you do not throw your clothes away! If this habit should be avoided, it is because: all textiles used are recyclable and can therefore lead a second life. If you throw your clothes in the household garbage, it becomes polluting waste. They end up in the landfill (underground). Still, all of these items of clothing are useful and can even make you money! You still need to know what to do with it!

What to do with clothes you no longer want?

1) Put the clothes in a container instead of throwing them away

container to throw away recycle clothes linen
Credit: iStock

Have you ever seen recycling stations on the street? These containers are used to collect clothes, bedding and accessories. They are then sorted and donated to associations if they are still in good condition. Another part of the collected parts can also be exported abroad (Africa or Eastern Europe). The rest ends up in recycling centers. You should know that the clothes are not not necessarily recycled to make other clothes. They can also be used to make sound or heat insulating panels, cleaning cloths used in industry or even tennis courts (using recycled sneakers).

To do this, lace your shoes in pairs and ideally separately from the fabric. Put everything in bags of up to 50 liters to place in said containers. You can find a container near you just here.

2) Sell these clothes

clothes and shoes
Credit: iStock

Clothes bought in second-hand are on the rise, as are resale sites that facilitate this type of transaction. You can offer your clothes that are still in good condition as well as your worn or damaged clothes that can attract young designers with an artistic project in mind or collectors of vintage pieces. You can decide to resell yourself on platforms like eBay, Le Bon Coin, Vestiaire Collective, Price Minister, Depop, Vinted, Vide Dressing, etc. Otherwise, you can go through a third party by going to a thrift store or consignment. Last idea: one barter party to exchange things and refresh your wardrobe without spending anything.

3) Give your clothes away instead of throwing them away

Donate clothes instead of throwing them away
Credit: iStock

Few people think of giving their clothes to those in need. And yet, anything at the bottom of the closet can be put to use in the right hands. Emmaus, Red Cross, Secours Populaire, Tissons la Solidarité, Ressourceries, La cravate solidaire (for professional clothing), etc. Many organizations and recycling centers near you can benefit from your donations.

Bring clothes back to life instead of throwing them away

recycle clothes instead of throwing them away
Credit: iStock

A patch to hide the holes, lace to hide a stain, a natural dye to recolor a tablecloth, etc. If you have the creative flair, you will be able to repair or transform an old garment. Textiles can also be used for artistic projects! In short, with a little ingenuity and a taste for DIY, you can reroute your sheets, curtains, bedding, and clothing in surprising ways.

For example, they can be used to:
– Reinvent the gift wrap to replace the paper that creates waste (it’s called the .) furoshiki !)
-Make an eco-friendly tawashi sponge
-Make hats and gloves with sweaters
– Make dresses for the dolls with socks or make clothes for the teddy bears
-Improvise hair ties with tights wrapped around them
-Start making bags and pouches in ultra-strong jeans
-And even just make it rags to clean and polish the shoes!

Give to artists

textile waste, cut pieces of fabric
Credit: iStock

The fashion students or in art are often buyers of fabric residues to carry out their projects. Plus, luxury homes often gift it to them. An advertisement on social networks, the Geev app or even a direct address for fashion schools could allow you to send them these textiles.

Of course, recycling used textiles is very important for the planet. However, this does not replace good daily consumption habits. This means that you prioritize second-hand goods, take care of your belongings (repairs, cleaning, etc.), but also think carefully before making a purchase. Just asking yourself if you really need it and putting off the purchase to see if you still feel like it a few days after the crush is enough to limit unnecessary impulse purchases!