6 Alternatives to Binning Garments : Let's Reduce Clothing Waste

Giada Nizzoli

6 Alternatives to Binning Garments : Let's Reduce Clothing Waste

Holes in your jumper? A skirt that’s no longer trendy? 

Your first impulse might have been to bin them and buy new ones, but we’re glad you took the time to find an alternative… especially since 206.456 tonnes of textile waste are produced yearly in the UK. 

Here’s what you can do to help reduce clothing waste.

1. Ask yourself why your first impulse was to bin your clothes

Sale in a fast fashion store

As a society, we’ve been brainwashed into perceiving our clothes are disposable:

  • Ridiculous fast-fashion prices
  • Trends that change every season
  • YouTube videos with clothing hauls

It can be hard to reduce clothing waste when everyone has been virtually screaming ‘bin them and buy more’ to your face (or screen) for years!

If your main reason for discarding clothes is that you want to follow a new trend or have already worn that pair of jeans more than once, consider reading about the problems with fast fashion and this dangerous mindset.

2. If a garment is broken, fix it...

Threads to reduce clothing waste by fixing damaged clothes

We’re so used to seeing our clothes as disposable that we might end up binning them without thinking twice about it as soon as the smallest thing goes wrong.

On the contrary, holes and rips are very easy to repair!

Mend them with thread and needle, or use this trick to fix small holes without them.

Alternatively, why not turn that little accident into a statement with a fun iron-on patch that represents your style?

3. … or upcycle it

Stella upcycled wool scarf

If your garment is damaged beyond repair, you can still reduce clothing waste by turning it into something else entirely.

After all, it’s still fabric! 

From transforming long jeans into shorts to making pillow covers out of old jumpers, here are some ideas on what to do with old clothes that you can no longer wear.

4. Reduce clothing waste by selling your unwanted garments online

Maybe your garment isn’t broken, but…

  • It no longer fits you comfortably
  • It doesn’t represent your personal style
  • You’ve fallen out of love with it and just can’t reignite the spark

In that case, if you really don’t know what to do with your old clothes, why not make some money back by selling them to someone who’d go crazy over them?

You can do so on websites like Depop and Vinted or good old eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

White print dungarees

5. … or donating them to charity

Don’t forget that, in most cases, you can reduce clothing waste and do something kind by donating your unwanted garments to those who need them even more.

Lots of UK-based charities allow you to book free collections through Icollectclothes or directly such as on the British Heart Foundation website. 

You can also look for the nearest clothing bank or head to your favourite charity shop.

6. Avoid this problem in the future by embracing slow fashion

Mia dress

You now have a few solutions for this specific time.

However, if you’re serious about reducing your clothing waste, changing your mindset from ‘disposable’ to ‘something to be loved and taken care of’ will really make a difference!

  • Instead of following ephemeral trends and changing your wardrobe every season? Create your own timeless style
  • Instead of cheap fast-fashion garments designed to fall apart after a few wearings? Reduce clothing waste by investing in high-quality slow-fashion clothes that were produced sustainably and made to last

Here are our tips on ditching fast-fashion and taking care of your clothes to make them last longer.

As for finding ethical clothes, did we mention that we’ve gathered the collection of over 400 fair trade brands on Project Cece?

Share our story

Related articles

Project Cece is a platform that collects ethical fashion from vetted brands and shops in one place. Browse ethical fashion for women and men and find items that fit your style, budget and values!

Join the fair fashion movement

Together we can make a difference! Subscribe to the newsletter to stay up to date about fair and sustainable fashion. We plant a tree for every subscription! 🌳