Have you finally got round to doing a wardrobe reorganise? Are you now ready to get rid of those trousers that you love but never wear because they go baggy at the knees? If there are items of clothing you want to break up with, there's plenty of sustainable things you can do rather than throwing them away. 

At the current time and under government recommendations, most charity shops and clothing banks are closed, and we're not able to meet friends to swap and share, so some of the ideas suggested below aren't possible. It's actually considered fly-tipping to leave donations outside charity shops and organisations when they're closed, so don't try to give your surplus clothing away just yet. Definitely get rummaging and rediscovering in your wardrobe, but just hold onto any items you're ready to part with for now, until it's safe and possible for you to follow the additional steps to pass them on.

Here are 5 ways to save your clothes from landfill:

Sadly, 1/3 of clothes across the UK end up in the bin and 73% of these clothes thrown away end up in landfill which is a whopping 11 million items a week (WRAP). The good news is that old clothes can be saved from landfill and reused or recycled into new items such as household rags, padding for chairs, car seats, cleaning cloths and industrial blankets. Clothing manufacturer, Hawthorn found that synthetic and non-biodegradable fibres, such as polyester, are used in around 72% of clothing items, which never fully decompose, bad news if it ends up in landfill.

1) Fix it first

Thinking of binning it because of a tear, missing button or fallen hem? Try and teach yourself using these easy tips on fixing a hem and sewing a button or with a You Tube tutorial. There are also lots of places that can repair your items like taking items to your local dry cleaners (they often have a skilled sewer who can do repairs!). We love The Seam who pair you up with locally skilled seamstresses. 

2) Bank it instead of binning it

Any clothing that isn’t good enough to be passed on can still be given a new life via clothing banks. You can find clothing and textile banks in supermarkets and local car parks. Visit Recycle Now to find one near you. 

3) Ask your council

Many local councils offer clothes and textiles collections, so it’s always worth checking this out on local council websites. These collections are free to use and easy. As long as the clothing is good quality, they’ll be put to good use. Try recycling them if they aren’t.

4) Trade your clothes for cash

If you want to turn your old clothes into cash, it’s easy to do and there are lots of different options. Try Depop, Ebay, Vinted for vintage and second hand high street clothing or Hardly Ever Worn It or Vestiare for higher end fashion. If an item is a bit faulty (missing button or the hem as fallen down), you can still sell it to someone who’ll repair it. Just make sure to put all the wear and tear details in the description when you list the item.

5) Go zero waste and get creative

Turn old clothes into new treasures such as a headband, stuffed toys, doll skirt, or a memory quilt. Find out how with Love Your Clothes

Before your clothes get to this stage, there are simple ways to make them last longer such as washing clothes at a lower temperature and cutting down on ironing and tumble drying. Here are 5 tips to make them last longer.


Want more tips, resources and inspiration on slower fashion? Follow @wear_the_movement_ below