Donate them – The first thing that most people will think to do with their old and unwanted clothes is donate them to charity. This is an excellent way to offload anything you no longer want to someone who may not have to money to buy these items normally. Most charities are often looking for clothes, such as St Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army and The Smith Family Australia, and these are usually where most people tend to donate. However, there are plenty of other good charity projects around the world that may specialise in certain items for different people. Another great charity you may not have heard of is the Uplift Project, where you can donate your pre-used bras that are still in good condition. They are especially in need of maternity bras and bras of larger sizes as they are harder to come by, but all bras are welcome and appreciated. Local church groups are also places that are always looking for clothing donations, so think about donating directly to them in future as well.
Sell them – Thanks to the boom of the internet, selling your old clothing has become so much easier than it used to be. Websites such as Ebay and Gumtree make it so easy to sell on any items you no longer want, for the price that you think it deserves. Simply take some photos of the item you want to sell, give a description and a starting price and sit back and wait for someone to buy your items. Facebook can also be a great place to list and sell any of your unwanted items. Thanks to the Fecebook Groups feature, many local communities can establish ‘Buy, Swap and Sell’ pages that allow for people to trade over the internet with those in their local area. This unlikely source is great for picking up one off items, and on most pages, they allow for people to list things they ‘Want to Buy’ as well, so that they can get exactly what they want and for a fair price. Consignment shops are also useful for designer goods. Blue Spinach in Sydney is a shop that buys and sells pre-owned luxury items such as clothing and handbags at a fraction of the retail price
Rent them – If you don’t want to part with some of your old designer items, you can rent them out online for people to borrow. Websites like The Volte allow you to list and rent out your items for free on their website. Simply sign up and add a photo and description of your item and wait for people who want to borrow your items. Items are also eligible for a rental report, so people can check out how many times it has been borrowed and who by. It also allows for people to leave comments on the item and owner so that borrowers know exactly what they’re getting before they borrow your item. Once someone wants to borrow your item, you then choose how you want to send it and this will also be how they are able to send it back to you (this is usually through Australia Post) it is important to note that you can list any items on The Volte for free, but they will charge you a 15% service fee of the rental fee. Lenders can also list a bond for their items if they are worried about them being damaged or lost etc.
Upcycle them – Old clothes can be used for many different DIY projects in and around the home, so before you decide to get rid of some of your old and unwanted clothes, think of ways that you can reuse them. Most people think of reusing their old clothes as rags when they aren’t in great condition any more, and this is all very good, but there are also many other things you can used your old clothes for. One that is quick and easy is using your old T-shirt to make a cool pillow cover. Because they are already in a similar shape to your standard square pillow, all you have to do is a little bit of strategic cutting and sewing to achieve your pillow cover. This also allows for you to hold on to some of your treasured garments that have more sentimental value than physical value by giving it a new function.
Another function that you may not have thought of for some of your old clothing made of natural fibres is to add them to your compost heap. Simply cut and shred any garments made of 100% silk, wool, linen or cotton and add them to compost, where they will break down eventually and be used again to help your garden grow.
Repurpose them – If you have the money or the means, mending or changing your old clothes is always an option and it is another great way to breathe a new life into old and tired garments. For example, an old cardigan can be easily made into a vest by making a few tiny adjustments to the original garment, and this something that can be applied to many different items of clothing that you might otherwise just throw away. But if you don’t have the know-how or the money to adjust your old clothes, don’t panic, because there is one more option. Repair Cafes are located all around Australia in several major capital cities, and they offer you the tools and the material to help you make modifications to your clothes. Run by highly trained volunteers, the cafés have people who can help you fix the things you need to fix and enjoy a lovely tea or coffee whilst doing it. Repurposing the clothes that you already own is one small way you can make a difference by not buying more items that you don’t really need, so it is important to consider all your options before you simply throw your old and unwanted clothes away.