Recycling is not just for cardboard boxes anymore. You can also help save the environment from a more personal area — your closet. Just because clothes are torn or out of style does not mean you should toss them to the curb.

 

(www.theguardian.com)

(www.theguardian.com)

According to a report from Elle.com, “the average American throws away 70 pounds of clothing every year which equals roughly 191 T-shirts…per person.”

 

But this does not always have to be the case. Aside from donating worn clothes to Goodwill and selling outdated finds to consignment shops, there are other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint while renewing your closet.

 

The Council for Textile Recycling recommends donating to post-consumer textile recycling stores to make sure your old clothes do not end up in landfills.

 

Thrift Store (www.salvationarmy.ca)

Thrift Store (www.salvationarmy.ca)

One easy way to find a textile donating location near you, try the search tool on WearDonateRecycle.org which allows you to input your zip code and brings up all the donating locations in your area.

 

Earth911 also has many recycling guides, as well as a recycle search bar, for all materials including textiles.

 

For those of you living in New York, GrowNYC has weekly neighborhood textile recycling collections. Their website has an events page with all the dates and times of the clothing pick-ups. They accept “Clean & dry clothing, paired shoes, bedding, linens, hats, handbags, belts, fabric scraps 36″ x 36″ or larger and other textiles.”

 

Another option, is reusing and rewearing your old clothing.

 

You can easily tailor out of date styles and create new looks. If your jeans still fit around the waist, consider turning them into capris or shorts. A long dress can be cut into a shirt or blouse. If you feel uneasy with a sewing machine, a quick trip to your nearest tailor will help you create new professional looks out of your old clothes.

 

(imgfave.com)

(imgfave.com)

If you have no interest in wearing your old outfits again, try using the fabric for other projects. The Budget Fashionista suggests making a book cover out of an old top. “Place the book in the middle of the square, trim the extra fabric you don’t need and then use glue or double sided tape to cover the book.”

 

Old sweaters that don’t fit anymore can be sewn into scarves, by using this quick and easy template from imgfave.com.

 

In the end, there are so many ways to reuse old clothing that throwing them away just seems careless. Save both the environment and money by recycling old garments into items that can be used again.

 

What are your favorite recycling projects? Let us know in the comments below or tweet me @LydiaYekalam