lifestyle · my journey · randoms stuff

How Do I Get Rid of Old Clothes Responsibly?

More or Less made me realize that I have more than enough clothes in my closet. Since then, I have made a few resolutions. I only allow myself a certain number of hangers in the closet, and I’m not allowed to buy more hangers. When I run out of hangers, it’s time to downsize my wardrobe. The same goes for anything that lives in my dresser. I also usually clean out my closet/dresser twice a year.

Although I haven’t shopped in 2020, I still wanted to downsize my wardrobe and get rid of clutter. In the past, I have donated my unwanted clothes to H&M bin (I haven’t been able to find enough information on how they really recycle thus I have stopped taking my clothes there. Besides, I try not to support fast fashion retailers) or have sent them to ThredUp, an online consignment shop. ThredUp will also recycle unsellable clothes responsibly. However, due to COVID, ThredUp has stopped taking clothes. 

I care very much about a sustainable lifestyle – reducing waste and recycling or upcycling responsibly. I don’t want my donated clothes to end up overseas to resale markets in developing countries. I’m also wary of which thrift stores they end up in. I don’t want my clothes to end up in the landfill. Did you know it can take up to 40 years for clothes to decompose in a landfill? Also, I have quite a bit of old t-shirts that I can’t send in good conscience since they are not resellable. I started researching companies that take old clothes and recycle them responsibly. After some time, I came across Retold Recycling.

This is how Retold Recycling works. You purchase (yes, you have to pay) the bags. However, they will take any washed clothes and household textiles. This includes underwear (yes, underwear but make sure they’re washed and clean!), socks, bed linen, towels, and blankets! According to their website, items will go to thrift stores, charities, upcyclers, recycling companies, and sometimes, off-shore to create opportunities for micro-economies. I have to admit that I’m a bit curious about the “off-shore sites for micro-economy opportunities.” For now, I’m trusting that what they say is true since they seem like a trustworthy company. I am willing to pay around $14/bag if I’m guaranteed that no item will end up in a landfill. Now, their tagline is #nolandfill, so once again, I’m trusting the company. I ordered 3 bags (5% discount). I have to admit that I was expecting bigger bags, and because the bags are compostable/biodegradable, they feel a bit flimsy. Yesterday, I stuffed them with old t-shirts, socks, undergarments, and few more items I had outgrown, and dropped off the bags that came with pre-paid, pre-addressed labels. It’s that easy!

I think Retold Recycling is a great place to get rid of items that are not fit for online consignment stores. I can’t wait ’til ThredUp starts taking clothes again so I can send brand name, good-condition outfits, and accessories. But honestly, I haven’t come across a better place to send old socks, undergarments, tank tops, sportswear, and a ton of church t-shirts. I would recommend Retold Recycling.

For sustainable fashion tips, check out this site!

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