Can You Throw Away Old Clothes

Can You Throw Away Old Clothes?

Did you know that households throw a huge amount of old clothes away each year? Did you also know that there is absolutely no need to do that? In fact, nearly all clothes can be recycled.

5 Reasons To Recycle
5 Reasons To Recycle

You can throw away old clothes, but the best thing to do with them is to donate them to a local homeless shelter or take them to a store like The Salvation Army where they’ll be sold for a minimal amount of money. This helps the community and keeps them out of landfills.

Let’s take a look.

Can You Throw Away Old Clothes?

You can. However, it is really the last thing that you want to be doing. This is because almost all clothes, no matter the condition, can be recycled.

Remember, if you do decide to throw away your old clothes, they are going to end up in a landfill. When they are in a landfill, they are going to stay for an incredibly long time. We don’t know if you have ever seen photos, but there are pictures of denim that have been exposed to the elements for over a century, and they still look good as new.

The same is going to happen if your old clothes are buried in a landfill. They aren’t going to break down (mostly). They are going to stick around for a long time to come.

You also have to remember that certain clothes will have dyes and the like in them. When the material does start to break down, these dyes will be released into the surrounding environment. This means that water supplies and the land will be impacted.

Everybody has a need for clothes, right? This means that if we throw our old clothes into landfills, there will be an increased demand for the production of new clothing materials and new clothes. All of this can be polluting to the planet. So, if everybody recycles, we would cut down the amount of pollution quite drastically.

Can You Take Old Clothes to a Recycling Center?


Many recycling centers will accept old clothes. However, they may not necessarily be processed there.

If the old clothes are destroyed in any way then, yes, the recycling center will deal with them. They cannot be reused until they have been recycled at this point. If the clothes are in fairly decent condition, then the recycling center will likely pass them on over to a clothing collection bank of some description. This way the clothing can be reused rather than recycled.

Can You Throw Away Old Clothes

Where Else Can You Take Old Clothes?

If you live in a major town or city, then the chances are pretty high that you will have some sort of clothing recycling bank somewhere. If you put the clothes in these banks, then they will be donated to charity.

This is one of the best ways to get rid of clothes. It means that you are helping the planet in two different ways!

You can also take your clothes to a local charity shop or thrift store and donate them like that. If the clothes are decent, then you may even be able to sell them on the Facebook Marketplace, or a similar website.

Remember, this is only going to work if you are donating clothes that are not broken. If the clothes are broken, then please do not donate them to a charity.

They will have to deal with them somehow, and it just adds extra work. After all, at the end of the day, they won’t be able to sell clothes that are broken, right?

If you have broken clothes and are feeling particularly crafty, then you may even want to fashion your own clothes. For example, a pair of pants that has been broken on the lower half can easily be made into a pair of shorts.

You could make a scarf out of an old t-shirt. There are plenty of guides online, and you will be surprised at how much use you can put your old clothes to.

How Do You Prepare Your Old Clothes For Recycling?

Before you donate your old clothes, whether it is to a recycling point or a charity, you will need to do a little bit of preparation beforehand.

First and foremost, make sure that you clean out those pockets. You will be surprised at what could potentially turn up in the pocket of a pair of pants that you haven’t worn for a few years.

The most important thing, however, is ensuring that you put the clothes in the washing machine and give them a good clean. Recycling centers will almost certainly never accept clothes that are filthy.

It messed up their machines. It is also wrong to donate clothes that are filthy to charities. They are going to be virtually unusable. So, if your clothes are dirty, especially if they have been sitting around in a closet for a good while, then give them a clean.

What Happens to Recycled Old Clothes?

As we said, if the clothes are not broken, then it is unlikely that they will be put through recycling machines. Instead, they will be sent to charities that will be able to utilize the clothes.

If the clothes need to be recycled, then they will be sorted by fabric type. If there is metal on the clothing e.g. buttons or belt loops, then they will have to be removed.

The clothes will then be broken down and remade into new types of fabric. This will then be sold on to clothing manufacturers who will now be able to make some brand new clothes with it. The best part is that the material doesn’t really lose its integrity over the years. This means that clothing can be recycled time and time again.


You can throw away old clothes, but you really shouldn’t. It just fills up landfills and results in a rather senseless amount of pollution. If you want to be getting rid of your clothes, then you should always recycle them.

It doesn’t matter whether you have clothes in great condition, or if they are worn and frayed. You will be able to find somebody to take them off of your hands. This is going to be the absolute best thing for the community and environment.