If you have just had, or are thinking of having, a big wardrobe clear out then you are probably wondering what to do with old clothes. I know I was after my latest clear our. So I spoke to a number of other bloggers and asked them what they do with their old clothes and was amazed at the varying responses I received. Here are 12 of the best answers I got, non of which involve simply throwing them away.
Upcycle your old clothes and create something new
If you are at all crafty then you can probably do like Su from Ethan & Everlyn and upcycle your clothes. This could be by turning pants that are grazing your ankles in to shorts for the summer or by adding some bling and bejazzeling your old hats, purses or even denim jackets. If your skills go even further than that then you really should head to pintrest where you will find loads of cool ways to upcycle your old clothes giving them a whole new lease of life and you a fresh new look.
If you don’t fancy using your old clothes to create new ones then how about upcycling them into something different entirely. And if, like me, you are absolutely useless when it comes to a sewing machine then maybe find someone else like a friend or family member that could help you out.
If you are happy to pay then there are numerous craft business that turn your old clothes in to glorious keepsakes for you. Debbie from My boys club gives them to her mum because she makes cushions out of old clothes and I have heard of other people who have turned baby clothes into teddies or blankets too.
Send them to Africa
Louise from A strong coffee to go says “My sister goes to South Africa once a year and visits a township. The last 2 years I have sent an old suitcase of clothes to Africa with her for people that really need them. It made the baby clothes easier to part with.”
Maybe you can pop a request in your local facebook group and see if there is anyone like Louise’s sister in your area that will be happy to take your clothes to Africa too. Or better yet, look into township visits and plan a trip to Africa yourself, might be a bit drastic just to get rid of your old clothes but I bet it would be an amazing experience!
Throw a clothes party
Vicki from Tippy tupps has a great idea “a few friends and I used to have clothes parties, where you bring along the things you don’t want and basically swap clothes between ourselves over a glass of wine (or two!)” This sound like a great idea and one you could do amongst a group of friends for your own clothes but maybe even the children’s clothes too. If you are brilliant at organising events then this is also something you could do in your local area and open it up to the community and help everyone get rid of their old clothes and go home with new wardrobes full of funky T shirts and gorgeous dresses. It would also be a great opportunity for finding those key pieces if you are wanting to create a capsule wardrobe.
Sends shoes to sals shoes
If it is shoes you are needing to rehome then check out Sal’s Shoes, a charity that takes your preloved shoes and delivers them to those without any shoes all over the world. It really is the most lovely way to re use those shoes, especially those that have been outgrown by the children but still have loads of life left in them.
Send bras to Smalls For All
If you have some gently worn bras that you no longer want, like, or fit then have a look at Smalls for All, a charity that donates underwear to women in Africa.
Donate prem clothes to the local neonatal wards
If you have some tiny baby or prem baby clothes that you need to re home then see if your local hospital will take them for the neo natal ward. Chances are the parents on these wards were not expecting to have babies so small and therefore may not be prepared with clothes that will fit them.
If not you could try advertising them on your local facebook group to see if any prem mums need them and failing that you could donate them to a local nursery or childminder for them to use on the dollies.
Find your local Womens aid or community hub
Women’s aid will often put local call outs for clothes for women and children. You do not have to wait to see these you can ring your local branch and ask if they need any and arrange to drop them off if they do. Be warned however that although they may need the clothes they may not always be able to take them due to storage issues which is what I found when I tried to donate to our local one. Instead I was pointed in the direction of our local community hub that could take them, store them and distribute them to families when needed.
Fill those charity bags
Louise from Pink Pear Bear fills up the charity bags that come through the door and donates them that way which is great if they happen to fall through your letter box just when you need them or if the arrival of the bag prompts you to have a clear out. These are easy to use and requires no research, phone calls or delivery as you just leave them outside your house on the day specified on the bag.
Go to the charity shop
Emma from Emma Reed says “I either take them to a charity shop or to one of the charity mobile units where they weigh what you bring them and they pay you dependant on that weight. It’s not much but it’s a bit of pocket money for you and they go on to be sold at African markets to help somebody make their living.”
Sell your old clothes
Sinead Latham prefers to sell old clothes on facebook groups or ebay if they are in good condition or of high value. You can also try vinted where you don’t pay fees so all the money you earn is yours, agreat way to make some more money.
Simone from Dog Days and Delights says she sometimes sells them at nearly new events but does admit that sometimes the money made is not worth the effort put in so it’s worthy doing a rough calculation of what you have to sell before you try.
Pass them on
Melanie from My little cheeky monkey passes her clothes on to her sister and her sons clothes on to another little boy in her street so they can get some more wear out of them. Another great idea if you know someone who could reuse them, especially kids clothes as they are in and out of them so fast that they usually have loads of life left in them by the time your child has grown out of them.
Donate to nursery
Jenna from Then there were three donates hers to the nursery as spare clothes in case little ones gets mucky or have accidents and they have ran out of their own clean spare clothes. If it is school uniform you need to rehome then try donating back to the school for them to use as or when needed or to offer to families that they know are in need of some support.
So, if you have been wondering what to do with old clothes I hope this has given you some ideas and if you are inspired to do any upcycling then do let us know as we would love to see some pics.