How to Recycle Old Clothes

We are all aware of the need to recycle our household waste, however what you might not have considered is your wardrobe and how to recycle your old clothes once they have reached the end of their life.

Firstly, here are some statistics around the problem with global textile waste:

  • 150 billion pieces of clothing are made each year - Most of these garments are ‘Fast Fashion’ (clothes produced in high volumes, at a low cost).
  • More than 50% of the fast fashion that is produced today is disposed of in less than 1 year, due to ever changing trends and the poor quality of these clothes.
  • Approximately 92 million tonnes of textile waste end up in landfill each year.

 

All of this is having a huge impact on our planet and here at KEEPER Denim we are passionate about looking for ways to reduce our impact. So here are our top 4 suggestions on how to recycle your old clothes:

Textile Recycler

A great starting point is to look at Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You website. Here you can search by your location and it will generate a list of suggestions of where you can take various types of textile waste within your local area.

Fashion Brand’s Donation Bins

Some fashion brands have recycling programs in place, where they have donation bins in their stores, some of them even accept all brands of clothing in these bins. See below for a list of brands that help you to recycle your old clothes:

  • H&M
  • Zara
  • Patagonia
  • Uniqlo
  • Nike

You can check on their respective websites to see if your local store has a donation bin available. Please note we don’t support these fast fashion brands; however these recycling programs are a great initiative and provide a place for you to recycle your old clothes rather than have them end up in landfill. So, what do these brands do with the donated clothes? well they often recycle them so they can be used in other industries. One example is the textile waste can be shredded and used in the insulation of buildings!

Repair

If you have any holes in your favourite pieces of clothing, don’t forget you can always patch them up and extend their life!

Donate to Op-Shops

There are several different charities that have op-shops where you can donate your old clothes. However, please be aware that approximately only 5% of the clothes that are donated to op-shops, end up on shop floor. Instead, they often end up in landfill or they are packaged up and shipped off to third world countries where they are sold at low prices and consequently destroy local industry. That is not to say never donate to op-shops, as there are certainly many stores that are making a conscious effort to ensure nothing ends up in landfill. However, you can help this by ensuring that you only donate clothes that are in good condition so that they can still be re-used by somebody else in need.

 

At KEEPER Denim, prolonging the life of your jeans by either repairing or up-cycling them is important to us as it helps to reduce our impact on landfill. So once your KEEPER Denim jeans come to the end of their life, you can return them back to us and receive a 10% discount when you purchase your new pair. Email us at info@keeperdenim.com for further information.

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