Lets Waste Less Blog

February 2020: Bring your wardrobe back to life

The big closet clear out

How many times have you looked in your wardrobe and thought I never wear that? Do you seem to acquire more and more clothes and yet always end up wearing the same thing? Do you even know how many clothes you own?

This March join The BIG Closet Clear Out and help create space not waste. The Love Your Clothes (opens in a new window) campaign launched this new scheme last year to help cut down on the amount of clothing ending up in the bin.

Every year the UK throws away an estimated 300,000 tonnes of used clothing and there is absolutely no need for it.

Throwing away clothing has a significant environmental impact as more than 5% of the UK’s annual carbon and water footprints result from clothing consumption.

Here’s how you can get involved

Clear out your closet

Whether they have seen better days, don’t fit or are just out of style, your first step is to sort out all those unwanted clothes.

Bile of clothes

Then...Sell them online

If they are in good condition, then sell them on to someone else. Here are some websites to get started. 

As well as the obvious eBay (opens in a new window) and Facebook Marketplace.

Swap them with friends and family

Encourage your friends and family to have their own Big Closet Clear Out and then all get together and swap clothes, or just offer them to a friend or family member.

Donate them to charity

By offering your good quality used clothing to charity you are not only helping the planet but a good cause at the same time. To find out where your nearest charity shops are visit the local reuse organisations page.

Recycle them

You could use your nearest textile bank but be careful of banks claiming to collect for charity, as often they are not, so please look for well-known charities such as Salvation Army, Oxfam or British Heart Foundation. 

All the Household Recycling Centres have textile recycling banks that will recycle good quality clothing. But even if it isn’t in good condition the merchants will turn unwearable items into wipe (industrial rags) so long as it is clean and dry.

Bras will be accepted for recycling to raise money for the Breast Unit Haven at Worcestershire Royal Hospital at a number of sites around the county. Check on the bra recycling page.

Repurpose them

If you are a creative type then check out the blog post "40 Mindblowing Ways To Repurpose Old Clothing" (Trends and Ideas website, opens in a new window) which has some awesome ideas for turning your old clothes into fantastic new creations or check out Love Your Clothes website (opens in a new window) for ideas.

Don’t let your good work stop with your Big Closet Clear Out. Why not hang a bag in your wardrobe and use it as a handy place to put unwanted clothes? Then when your bag is full you can choose how you would like to give that clothing another life.

Every month Worcestershire County Council's Waste Prevention Project Manager Emma Stuart will share her ideas, thoughts and tips about everything to do with waste to help you reduce the amount you throw away.