5 ways to recycle your clothes

Finding a home for your clothes that you no longer need is a hard and tedious job. I know of many responsible friends who took the initiative to sell their clothes through their social media platforms but also recall how much it took to put them through one final round of laundry, take pictures, price them, talk about them to a 100 strangers, sell them to some & ship them across the world. 

That is one way to do it. Here are some other ways. In each option there is a dependency on finding the right contact. If you know of any donation houses, thrift stores, swapping clubs, creative tailors & kantha magic makers – please let this community know! Thank you in advance for your help in spreading the word. 

1.DONATE : Please do not throw your clothes into the trash unless they are absolutely unusable – even then am sure you can find a way to re-employ it as cleaning cloth. Most clothes thrown into trash end up in landfills. There are several reputable destinations who would pass your clothes on to those in need.

2.SELL : Take your clothes to a thrift/second-hand store who can help decide if your clothes are worth another lifetime. I simply love seeing the thrift movement in India & can’t wait to see it spread. My advice would be to use services that are upfront about whether they can sell your clothes or not. Online places like threadup unfortunately “donate” ~50% of the clothes they receive & they don’t really get a second life. Or sell your own clothes on FB Marketplace or Depop.

3.SWAP : For those clothes that are hardly worn and in great condition, try out a clothing swap! This is another small but growing channel of finding another home for your once-favourite item, while finding another piece of treasure yourself. You typically pay an entry fee and then just exchange clothes with the participants!

4.RE-PURPOSE : If it’s really the current form of your dress that’s bothering you, re-purpose it into another silhouette! Even easier, if you try layering and pick up the art of re-imagining the occasion of your outfit. When not possible, reach out to your friendly tailor to make something else out of it – chop off the sleeves of your t-shirt, make skirts/tops out of saris or convert your skirt into a dress – you need only watch the first influencer you stumble on for great ideas in this area!!

5.UP-CYCLE : If you just don’t want to wear a clothing anymore or it has suffered burns & tears in significant places, fear not! I have a final suggestion – make something else out of it. There are many things in your home that are made of fabric – make them out of your used clothes, just like our ancestors did. Ex: Kantha stitched blanket, pillowcases, screens or throws.