Top 6 Reasons To Recycle Old Clothes

The textile industry is one of the most important industries, with more than 2.6 billion pieces put on the market each year, the equivalent of 625,000 tons per year of clothing, household linen, and other fabric products. This partly explains why the textile industry is also one of the most polluting industries, also because the current production and distribution systems are often incompatible with the respect of the environment! The fast fashion and budget clothing development has only amplified this phenomenon, but the situation is gradually reversed.

There is a growing trend for textile recycling linked to individual awareness in favor of ecology and the environment. But you’re not sure what to do with your clothes. Have you decided to make more ecological choices this year and arrange your closet? Before you throw your clothes in the trash, think about the consequences of putting more of them in the landfill versus recycling textiles. Here are the most important reasons to recycle your clothes. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn more about the subject at hand.

1. Think about textile recycling


The process of making clothes uses a lot of energy. Every garment you wear goes through a complex manufacturing process, which uses a large amount of electricity, and water, not to mention other energy sources. So recycling textiles saves energy by reducing or eliminating the need to make new clothes. Similarly, when you buy recycled clothing, you help reduce the environmental impact of “fast fashion.

2. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Textiles made from organic materials (cotton, linen…) must be biodegradable. However, when people throw away their clothes and they end up in landfills, they lack oxygen because of the piling up. Oxygen is necessary for the decomposition of organic matter. The lack of oxygen leads to decomposition by anaerobic digestion, which means that microorganisms break down the organic material to produce by-products such as methane. Produced constantly and uncontrollably, methane escapes into the atmosphere, harming air quality and the planet.

3. Reducing the use of landfills

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Landfills are not always visible. For that reason alone, most of us think they don’t exist. But did you know that over 12 million tons of different textiles end up in landfills every year? Not only is this practice very harmful to the environment, but it is also very expensive. Landfills are expensive to purchase and require a lot of open space. They also cost money to operate. This money comes from the municipalities and cities, i.e., from the taxpayers’ pockets. Recycling reduces the amount of textiles in landfills and frees up space for other waste. By recycling your clothes, you limit the creation of new landfills.

4. Help those in need

Probably the biggest reason people choose to recycle textiles is that it helps people in need. Your clothes are turned into cash donations to help these organizations. But donated clothes are often sold to thrift stores or even to developing countries. When you recycle clothes, your help is extensive; if they are too damaged, these clothes are then revalorized.

5. Reuse of old clothes by exporting to developing countries


50% of the collected and sorted clothes are reused abroad. Most of the collectors have resale approaches per kilogram in partner countries. For example, Le Relais has established itself in 3 African countries (Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Madagascar) and has created more than 350 direct jobs and 10 times more indirect jobs.

The massive export of clothes from the second sorting has, however, made the leaders of the countries of the Community of East African States of Central Africa (Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan) react and consider banning the entry of textiles already worn. Indeed, the importation of worn clothing “threatens our textile industry” and “compromises the dignity of our people.

6. A simpler solution

Probably one of the most important reasons to recycle your textiles is the simplicity of the operation. Donating only takes a few seconds, with professionals taking care of the collection. When you think about how much you’re helping the planet by recycling, it’s even easier to drive and drop off the clothes or organize a donation drive.

Sound off in the comments section below and tell us what you want to read next and if you want to read more about recycling old clothes.

How to Wash and Care for Your Organic Clothes? (Part 2)

Despite not being such a fun practice, doing the laundry is indeed indispensable. Believe it or not, this action significantly impacts your economy since washing clothes is wasting electricity, water, and natural resources. You should know that some of the soaps or detergents that you use are likely to be the primary pollutants for our environment. That is why it is crucial to reduce these products’ consumption without affecting the home’s hygiene. To achieve this, we give you some tips that can help you wash your clothes more ecologically. If you haven’t yet read the first part of this blog, check it out now!


Separate and Classify the Clothes

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Separate the garments by the washing temperature, by color, or by their composition. If you want your sustainable clothes to last longer, make sure not to mix the colors and turn them over before putting them in the washing machine, which will protect them better. Separate delicate garments and save non-woven items such as zippers, buttons, decoration details. Imagine a garment with a zip along with your delicates. I advise you that this garment goes in a special bag for washing. Also, if you have outfits (pyjamas, underwear, etc.) I recommend that you wash them together to prevent one part from wearing more than the other.


Remove and Treat Stains Before Washing

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Put a garment with a stain in the washing machine and remove it stained again. Who has not happened? I recommend that you make sure to remove the stain before putting it to wash for the wash to be really effective. You can try soaking the garment with baking soda, vinegar or applying a few drops of lemon (if it is white clothing).


Wash With Cold Water, 30º or With an Eco Program

Whenever you can, use cold water. Hot water causes fabrics to wear out prematurely, and garments lose color and may shrink. If you wash at a low temperature, you will save energy, and also, the clothes will need less iron.


Use the Right Amount of Detergent

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Quantity is not always quality. Use the detergent as recommended by the manufacturer. More detergent does not always equal more cleaning. Excess detergent and fabric softener in garments dry out the fibers, stiffen the fabric, and reduce life. The fabric softener can be easily substituted for apple or white cider vinegar. It does not leave an odor on clothes. There are many ecological and natural detergents, such as Marcella soap or Lagarto soap for the detergent. These use components of plant origin. They are made with biodegradable materials and without chemical elements which do not pollute the environment. If you are trying to dress sustainably and with clothes made with ecological fabrics, why use chemical detergents? Don’t use bleach is very aggressive, especially with organic cotton garments.


Avoid Using the Dryer

Personally, I do not have a dryer, and I have never missed it since the best option is to hang the clothes inside out and in the open air – never directly in the sun. Since on sweltering summer days, the intense sun rays damage the color and the fibers, producing minor burns that are not perceived until the garment is broken. This is especially noticeable in fabrics with elastane, lycra, or elastic bands that lose their elasticity.


Iron Little and Only the Clothes That Need It

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Opt for hanging your clothes with hairpins or hooks instead of ironing. If you still have a garment a little wrinkled, a trick is to hang it on a hook in the bathroom while you shower. You will see how the water vapor works miracles. For dress shirts, there is no choice but to iron them. In this case, wait until you have a few items to do it at once. Very wrinkled organic cotton garments sometimes require steam while ironing. In this case, fill the tank of your iron with distilled water. You will avoid filling the garment with lime, and your iron will last longer in perfect condition.


I hope that with these tips you take good care of all your clothes without harming the environment.