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Benefits of Recycling and Repurposing old Clothes

In this increasingly connected world, people have become more environmentally friendly as compared to the last few decades. The growing popularity of the waste hierarchy – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- has made the new generation conscious of their surroundings. Initiatives such as eating clean, organic food, gluten-free, minimalistic approach to lifestyle and tiny home ideas are all indicators that millennials are moving towards a more sustainable way of living. A lot of materials are reused and recycled to save its impact on the earth, and one such new trend is the reusing and recycling of clothes. The emphasis on textile recycling is increasing as over 80 billion garments are produced annually which, if not recycled or reused, will pollute the earth. Recycling and reusing textiles reaps tangible benefits for not only the earth but society as well.


Production of clothes is causing environmental degradation which is a major concern in society. A lot of clothing is made from natural resources which mean it’s organic and biodegradable. However, when clothing ends up in a landfill, there it lacks oxygen to decompose and releases methane and carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere. These gases escape into the atmosphere and cause holistic climate change over the years. It also takes hundreds of years for natural fiber to decompose. Also, synthetic clothes do not decompose at all.

Instead of throwing them away one can always reuse and recycle them in order to save the earth from greenhouse gases and create a better, environment-friendly world for generations to come.


Discarding clothes takes up a lot of space in landfills. It costs millions for the municipalities to construct, maintain and operate a landfill. To reduce tonnes of solid waste in the landfill, clothes need to be recycled and reused. Reusing keeps landfills costs low resulting in an increased budget for other municipal needs.


The production of clothes takes a lot of energy. The process of producing clothes is complex and requires an extraordinary amount of water and electricity. Recycling and reusing clothes ensure that all the energy that was used in the production does not simply go to waste.


Old rags, homey clothing or a worn out shirt can be reused and recycled at home to save additional costs incurred on domestic cleaning items. Old textiles can be used as a kitchen cleaning cloth, padding for chairs and car seats, cleaning wipes at home and can also be used as an industrial blanket.


Clothes that unworn or unwanted should not be dumped in curbside bins, rather it can be donated to the needy. Donations can be made to recycling centers or thrift stores who are helping the underprivileged members of the society by giving it away for free or selling them at a nominal price. This is a great way to contribute towards society because if money cannot be donated, clothing donation will help the charity. It’s a goodwill gesture that will not only help to conserve the environment but also work towards an inclusive society by helping individuals to dress themselves up with dignity without having to spend a fortune on clothing.


Donated clothes may also go to some developing countries where they are in demand and are a source of income for business owners and their families who sell these clothes to the locals of the country.


Consumerism is on the rise around the world and has serious repercussions along with being costly and wasteful. A simple and minimal lifestyle is the key to happiness with more emphasis on personal relationships and positive experiences than on materialistic belongings. Recycling and reusing clothes not only has a positive impact on the society but it reduces your personal wastefulness and is easy on the pocket too.

Around the world, it is the job of every individual to act socially responsible and choose brands of clothes that last longer and show commitment towards the environment. One should donate, buy reused clothes, recycle and most importantly, shop sustainably.

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