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What to do with unwanted garments

24. 02. 2020 Nikola Havlíčková

What to do with unwanted garments

Have you sorted out your wardrobe and now you are thinking about how to handle unworn clothes? You have several options where to take the unwanted or unworn pieces. But, mixed waste bins are definitely not one of them. It is possible to say goodbye to clothes in an ecological and responsible way.

In the Stone Age, man dressed only the necessary clothes, but nowadays in the "consumerist age", the supply of clothing is several times higher than the demand. So the mankind has learned how to live with always growing amount of waste including the textile waste. It is important to understand that we all have to start thinking about this waste issue as for us not to drown in it later on.

This is also related to awareness in the field of clothing disposal. Due to the fact that every piece of clothing has its value, we should care where it goes when it stops being useful for us and what happens with it once we give up on it. So forget about trash cans! Clothes really don't belong in them. Trash from regular trash cans goes to landfills and incinerators. If you throw a leather bag in the trash can, it will take fifty years for it to decompose. Don't you think it couldn't find a use with someone else in that time?


Container clothing collection is represented by the companies Potex, Diakonie Broumov, Červený Kříž, Salvása Armáda, Textileco and others. The idea that after throwing clothes into these containers, you basically dress those who can't afford it is rather dreamy. Of course, clothes suitable for charities will find their way there where they are needed. However, the rest of the clothing in a good condition from these containers travels to a network of partnered second hands. These containers do have a charitable meaning, but not as big as we might think. One way or another, it truly is one of the green choices when getting rid of unwanted clothing, as it deserves to avoid incinerators and landfills.


The first step towards a responsible approach to textile waste is to think about whether we really want to give up clothes that we have sorted out. Is it not possible to modify and wear them on? Sometimes even small interventions by tailors are enough, a new look is created and the life of the piece of clothes is extended. If you really want to say goodbye to clothes, you can dedicate them to designers just for upcycling purposes. The sewing of old and unworn clothes is dealt with, for example, by the project Tvorbou, which has several brands in ints portfolio.


Donating clothes to family or friends is one of the easiest ways to get rid of clothes and finding other uses of them at the same time. You can also bring unwanted clothes to second-hand and charity shops, which will use them for sale. By donating your clothes to the Restart Shop, you will support youth services. If you donate them to the Sue Ryder charity shop, the money from the sales will be used to finance the care of the elderly.

Furthermore, clothes can be exchanged or "swapped". You can exchange your clothes with others in person at different swap events or online in Facebook groups. Last but not least, you have the opportunity to sell unwanted pieces. The best-known website for selling worn clothes is Vinted.


Some pieces just fulfilled their meaning. Everything has a lifespan, so even the clothes are not immortalized. So don't be afraid to use scissors and clothes that no longer have a chance to find their use in the wardrobe, simply cut and use as cleaning rags.


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