How you can reduce, reuse and recycle your unwanted clothing

Australians love buying new clothes and keeping up with the ‘fast fashion’, however the latest trends don’t always last long in your wardrobe. Clothes take decades to break down in landfill and there are many alternatives to reduce, reuse and recycle your clothing instead!

Clothes, textiles and fabrics are unfortunately not recyclable through your yellow-lidded recycling bin or your green-lidded organics bin. Your best option is to reduce and reuse prior to disposing of your clothing.

 

Follow these simple tips below to reduce your clothing:

Swap and Share
1. Swap and Share with your family and friends. Your bestie may just have that perfect top and skirt combo for a night out with the girls.

Clothes
2. Turn your clothes into Cash! Sell your pre-loved items on Facebook, Gumtree or the like. You can make a quick buck while another person gets a bargain!

donate
3. Donate and feel great! Donate your pre-loved clothing to your local Op Shop or Charity Store and while you’re there have a look around for a second-hand bargain. Don’t forget to make sure it is good quality.

• Or repair your clothes, Nan, the Repair Café or even YouTube can show you how to sew a button back on your favourite top or pair of jeans.

• Cut and re-use your clothing as cleaning rags or stuffing for your pet’s bed.

Be organised

4. Be organised. Keep your wardrobe tidy so you can see everything that is available to be worn.

• Freshen your look with accessories or buy clothes that can be layered so you can wear them for a variety of occasions.

• Look after your clothes by following their specific care instructions.

• Choose quality over quantity. Avoid buying cheap garments made from synthetic fabrics.


Why Recycle?

Reduce, reusing and recycling clothing has a number of benefits:

CO2

• Saving resources and reducing pollution.

• Reducing use of wool-cleaning chemicals and fabric dyes.

• Reducing resource use, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from reducing manufacturing of virgin materials.

• Reducing the amount of waste going into landfill.

• Provide affordable clothing for disadvantaged families and individuals.

What happens to recycled clothing?
 

Insulation

• Good quality clothes are resold by charities or op shops, or they may be given to disadvantaged people.

• Some charities will recycle clothes which are in poor condition into industrial rags, sound-absorption materials, insulation or stuffing. Remember to ask the charity what their acceptance criteria is, because if they can’t use it they may incur costs for further disposal of un-sellable clothing.

As the last resort
 

Red-lidded-bin

• As the last resort, clothing that can’t be reused or recycled (swapped, shared, donated or sold) can be discarded in your red-lidded general waste bin.

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