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Sustainable Ways to Get Rid of Old Clothes

Did you know that, on average, Americans throw away about 81 pounds of clothing each year? If that seems like an astonishing statistic, here’s another one for you: most Americans don’t wear about 82% of what’s in their wardrobes. Why are we putting so much clothing into the landfills? Better yet, what are some more sustainable ways to dispose of unwanted clothing?

  • Donate it. This is, obviously, everyone’s first thought. Unfortunately, much of the clothing people donate each year still winds up in the landfill. There’s so much donated clothing every year that many retailers can’t keep up with it. Often, it ends up being sent overseas, where it’s shredded and repurposed, or thrown away. That being the case, there are some great places to donate clothing, including nonprofits, schools, churches, or mutual aid groups. Call around to see who can use what you need to discard. You can also look into online groups like freecycle, where you may be able to find people to take the clothing you no longer want.
  • Sell it. Consignment stores are good places to sell clothes that are in good shape, but they aren’t the only option. There are also secondhand clothing apps and sites like Poshmark and Thredup, where you can send your unwanted duds to be sold. Of course, there’s also eBay if you’re interested in managing the listings yourself.
  • Recycle it. Did you know that many articles of clothing can be recycled? Fabric from worn out clothing can be shredded and used for insulation, furniture stuffing, and many other purposes. Look for textile recycling programs in your area.
  • Repurpose it. There are tons of creative ideas for ways to use clothing that’s not nice enough to donate or sell. Some of your old clothing will make great cleaning rags, other items will make a perfect rag rug, or you could make a bag or stuff a pillow with clothing you no longer need.
  • Swap it. Clothing swaps can be a fun way to bond with people you know and get some new clothes at no cost. Host a swap party: invite your most fashionable friends, set out some snacks, and start swapping!
  • Compost it. Natural fabrics like cotton, linen, hemp, wool, bamboo, silk, and ramie are all biodegradable and can be composted. Make sure they’re not blended with anything like polyester, take out non-compostable parts like zippers and buttons, shred them thinly, and they’ll be perfect for your compost pile. Keep the ratio right, limiting your clothing to 25 percent or less of your composting.

If you need to store some old clothing while you determine the best thing to do with it, we’ve got you covered. Pouch Self Storage has been operating mini-storage facilities since 1979 and is committed to keeping our clients’ belongings safe. Founded by John Yelland, who hails from Australia, Pouch Self Storage is named in honor of the kangaroo’s pouch- nature’s safe and secure storage spot. We’re an industry leader in design, building, and maintenance of self-storage facilities, and we strive to give our occupants the most advanced security systems available. At our nine Southern California facilities, you’ll find state-of-the-art computer monitoring systems that allow our self-storage managers to monitor the opening and closing of every storage unit door, 24 hours a day. Currently, we’re abiding by CDC recommendations and implementing social distancing, but you can still reach us by calling (800) 378-4598 or contacting us through our website.