What do you do with well worn clothing?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
anoop
Posts: 2217
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:33 am

What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by anoop »

I usually wear most of my clothes to the point where they begin fraying at their weak spot, e.g. the point of the collar on my polos or the leg opening on my pants.

Because they are so worn I didn’t think it was appropriate to give to a thrift store.

I used to drop these off at the H&M store for recycling but they no longer accept them since the start of the pandemic.

Doing a DuckDuckGo search I came across earth911 and searching on there I found reuseit.org, but the phone number listed goes to an NSFW type business.

So what do you do with really worn clothes? I try not to put stuff in the trash except as a last resort.

Edit: I also found that Levi's stores used to accept old clothes for recycling but they too have stopped accepting them since the start of the pandemic.

Edit 2: I found one of these bins in my area.
http://texgreenteam.com/
Last edited by anoop on Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
livesoft
Posts: 76076
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by livesoft »

I ask my kids if they want it and if not, I throw it out.

My spouse and daughter volunteered for many years at a thrift shop. I learned from them how thrift shops worked. Lots of stuff was thrown out before it ever made it to the racks and shelves. So don't kid yourself that your clothes would not end up in the trash if you donated to a thrift shop.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
jebmke
Posts: 12656
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm
Location: Delmarva Peninsula

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by jebmke »

if they are otherwise functional and durable, some get relegated to gardening/property work. I'm probably the only person in my area who wears a dress shirt (no tie!) when clearing overgrown vines and brush. White and light blue ones are especially helpful in spotting ticks.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
Chip
Posts: 3371
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:57 am

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by Chip »

I have some well worn clothes I only wear when working on cars or in the shop.

When they get bad encough I cut some of them up into shop rags. Of course they eventually end up in the trash, but I get a little more use out of them.
kjsammy
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:19 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by kjsammy »

In Massachusetts we are encouraged to not put old fabrics into trash.
https://www.mass.gov/guides/massdep-textile-recovery

Locally, there are fabric recycling bins at some schools or dpw yards. Some cities have started to do curbside fabric recycling. The fabric will be reused for something else.
User avatar
Tamarind
Posts: 2493
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:38 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by Tamarind »

I mostly have the same progression through odd-job wear to rags to trash.

But taking up a sewing habit could extend their life a bit further. Quilting is surprisingly easy to learn and should appeal to those with a knack for math and geometry. Quilting allows you to harvest the large parts of a given article that are not yet worn through and turn them into comforter covers, bedspreads, pillow cases, seat cushions, and pet blankets. It need not be a twee or cute pattern. This was the original method of recycling old clothes.

If you're not inclined to sewing or don't have the time, look for fabric recycling companies rather than "donation". Ideally you want to find someone who will not ship the used clothing to a poor country (they are swimming in corporate event t-shirts already) but instead will shred it and turn it into stuffing, biodegradable packing materials or coolant gel, etc.
User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 13263
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona
Contact:

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by Sandtrap »

anoop wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:42 am I usually wear most of my clothes to the point where they begin fraying at their weak spot, e.g. the point of the collar on my polos or the leg opening on my pants.

Because they are so worn I didn’t think it was appropriate to give to a thrift store.

I used to drop these off at the H&M store for recycling but they no longer accept them since the start of the pandemic.

Doing a DuckDuckGo search I came across earth911 and searching on there I found reuseit.org, but the phone number listed goes to an NSFW type business.

So what do you do with really worn clothes? I try not to put stuff in the trash except as a last resort.
Well worn clothes, or those that do not fit for unknown reasons (clothes shrink as we age? :confused ), go to my children and their families, or go to Goodwill or the thrift store.

There was a time when we shopped at Goodwill and Savers for our children's "new" clothes for the school year. It was exciting to find new factory seconds and retail store closeouts for a fraction of the cost of "new" in a retail store. So, now, we donate nearly everything that we can to Goodwill to help others.

j :D
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know
User avatar
cheese_breath
Posts: 10388
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:08 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by cheese_breath »

They either become rags or trash.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
oldfort
Posts: 2634
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:45 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by oldfort »

If you don't want to put it in a landfill and it's too ratty for Goodwill, then this has a lot of resources you could potentially use.
https://trashisfortossers.com/how-to-re ... d-clothing
SuzBanyan
Posts: 519
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:20 am

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by SuzBanyan »

Tamarind wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:29 am I mostly have the same progression through odd-job wear to rags to trash.

But taking up a sewing habit could extend their life a bit further. Quilting is surprisingly easy to learn and should appeal to those with a knack for math and geometry. Quilting allows you to harvest the large parts of a given article that are not yet worn through and turn them into comforter covers, bedspreads, pillow cases, seat cushions, and pet blankets. It need not be a twee or cute pattern. This was the original method of recycling old clothes.

If you're not inclined to sewing or don't have the time, look for fabric recycling companies rather than "donation". Ideally you want to find someone who will not ship the used clothing to a poor country (they are swimming in corporate event t-shirts already) but instead will shred it and turn it into stuffing, biodegradable packing materials or coolant gel, etc.
I just finished quilting a hand-pieced top that my Great-Great Aunt made before 1955 using mainly her husbands shirts. My grandmother inherited the top in 1955 and stored it until she moved into assisted living in 2005 or so. I have been storing it since then until I finally finished it so that it can be enjoyed.

If you are interested, Bonnie Hunter has written 2 books on recycling used clothing into quilts: Scraps & Shirttails and Scraps & Shirttails 2.

If the clothing is either 100% cotton or an interesting fabric like velvet, local quilters may be interested in receiving a donation.
Topic Author
anoop
Posts: 2217
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:33 am

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by anoop »

I found one of these bins in my area, so I finally have a place to put worn underwear & shoes.
http://texgreenteam.com/

Almost all other clothes, the lady that cleans my house takes them. She says they are useful for construction workers and mechanics, even though I may think they are too worn, they will still use them for work.
quantAndHold
Posts: 5537
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by quantAndHold »

I donate it to the thrift store I normally donate stuff to. As long as it’s not moldy, depending on condition, thrift stores either resell, turn it into rags, or recycle it into insulation and stuff. It doesn’t get thrown away.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
Topic Author
anoop
Posts: 2217
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:33 am

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by anoop »

quantAndHold wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:15 am I donate it to the thrift store I normally donate stuff to. As long as it’s not moldy, depending on condition, thrift stores either resell, turn it into rags, or recycle it into insulation and stuff. It doesn’t get thrown away.
This is what I got when I emailed my local Goodwill store:
>>>
We always try and sell/utilize as many items as we can. That being said, if you feel that the items are indeed in poor condition, we would appreciate not having to sort through them as it costs us to do so, and with our resources limited due to COVID-19 protocols, we would like to utilize our resources as efficiently as possible..
>>>
quantAndHold
Posts: 5537
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by quantAndHold »

anoop wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:18 am
quantAndHold wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:15 am I donate it to the thrift store I normally donate stuff to. As long as it’s not moldy, depending on condition, thrift stores either resell, turn it into rags, or recycle it into insulation and stuff. It doesn’t get thrown away.
This is what I got when I emailed my local Goodwill store:
>>>
We always try and sell/utilize as many items as we can. That being said, if you feel that the items are indeed in poor condition, we would appreciate not having to sort through them as it costs us to do so, and with our resources limited due to COVID-19 protocols, we would like to utilize our resources as efficiently as possible..
>>>
And my local store said exactly the opposite.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
123
Posts: 7187
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by 123 »

Our local trash service, operated by Recology, has recycling options for lots of things. For worn clothing, rags, towels, fabrics etc we are supposed to put them in a large clear plastic bag and place them in our blue recycling bin. You may want to check with your trash service to see what recycling options they may have. What can be recycled through the trash service varies a great deal from city to city.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
User avatar
BL
Posts: 9595
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:28 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by BL »

DAV (disabled American Veterans) has a bin in town for this.
User avatar
Metsfan91
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:33 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by Metsfan91 »

Salvation Army dropoff location... Dropoff boxes for other charities available as well.
“Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy.” — John C. Bogle
User avatar
FOGU
Posts: 418
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:41 pm
Location: On the throne behind the kit.

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by FOGU »

Old worn out clothes? I wear them and wear them, until my wife gets so embarrassed to be seen with me that she steals them and turns them into laundryroom rags used for dusting and mopping the floor. After that they just sort of.....disappear.
McDougal
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:42 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by McDougal »

Reminds me of Seinfeld's advise for old clothes. https://youtu.be/ka282wza9Dg
User avatar
Devil's Advocate
Posts: 400
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:18 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by Devil's Advocate »

My great uncle is a very well off farmer worth multi million dollars. He is very cheap as well. According to his now deceased wife he had so many holes in his underwear that he would just wear 2 pairs at once. I am not suggesting you do this with your well worn clothing, I just felt like I could share.

He was green before green was cool.

DA
veggivet
Posts: 818
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:07 pm
Location: New England

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by veggivet »

Freecycle is a great resource for something like this. You'd be amazed at the number of people who are looking for old, ratty material for some sort of crafts project.

https://freecycle.org
If you watch your pennies, your dollars will take care of themselves.
User avatar
JonnyDVM
Posts: 2818
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:51 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by JonnyDVM »

cheese_breath wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:18 am They either become rags or trash.
Amen. If it’s beat enough that it can’t be dontated it’s trash, or if it’s lucky it gets to be a rag.
I’d trade it all for a little more | -C Montgomery Burns
User avatar
SmileyFace
Posts: 6404
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by SmileyFace »

Metsfan91 wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:45 am Salvation Army dropoff location... Dropoff boxes for other charities available as well.
These places typically don't want well worn clothing - only gently worn clothing. If it's worn through or ratty - trash is the place it goes.
User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 2762
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:41 am
Location: Ashtabula, 56th and Wabasha
Contact:

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by Nicolas »

I save them in the garage to wear to crawl under my cars to change the oil. The clothes that are not suited to this purpose I use as oil rags for checking my dipsticks or wiping off my oily hands. The rest I throw away.
bloom2708
Posts: 8686
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by bloom2708 »

Rags or trash. Well worn is at the end of its life cycle.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
User avatar
calmaniac
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:32 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by calmaniac »

I hand off to homeless.
63 yo,1y til go part-time. AA 70/30: 30% S&P, 16% value, 14% intl, 10% EM, 30% short/int govt bonds. My mil pension + DW's now ≈60% of expenses. Taking SS @age 70--> pension+SS ≈100% of expenses.
User avatar
Metsfan91
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:33 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by Metsfan91 »

SmileyFace wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:32 am
Metsfan91 wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:45 am Salvation Army dropoff location... Dropoff boxes for other charities available as well.
These places typically don't want well worn clothing - only gently worn clothing. If it's worn through or ratty - trash is the place it goes.
Ahh! If well worn means end of life, I use these as rags. Cotton ones are great for wiping off dust.
“Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy.” — John C. Bogle
LittleMaggieMae
Posts: 747
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:06 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

In the past Goodwill WOULD recycle clothes that could not be sold (or shipped overseas for use). I'm too lazy to google for this info to see if it's still true.

I tend to turn old worn clothes into "cat bed liners/filler" as my cats like cardboard boxes over actual cat beds. When the article of clothing is full of cat fur I throw it in the trash. I might use old socks to clean the blinds or to dust. Cotton fabric clothes (and sheets) get turned into rags and used in cleaning. yes, they all eventually wind up in the landfill - but I got as much use as possible from them.
stimulacra
Posts: 937
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:50 pm
Location: Houston

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by stimulacra »

You can mend them if you like the specific article.

Sashiko mending is very popular right now.

Clothes I don't want to wear anymore either gets donated or turned into rags.
lightheir
Posts: 2622
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by lightheir »

SmileyFace wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:32 am
Metsfan91 wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:45 am Salvation Army dropoff location... Dropoff boxes for other charities available as well.
These places typically don't want well worn clothing - only gently worn clothing. If it's worn through or ratty - trash is the place it goes.
THe vast majority of these places actually go even further; if it has any signs of wear/tear, it'll be trashed. I know this from talking to people who have worked there. They told me that like 90%+ of the stuff put in their donation dump went straight to the trash, as nobody would buy it if it had small tears or wear marks unless it was really, really small and negligible (in which case it likely would not have been donated in the first place.)

I asked him about the types of clothes I had donated in the past - clean but sort of old t-shirts, jackets that were perfectly good but had broken zippers or a small tear, pants that had minor wear signs - he told me without question all of my clothes would have gone straight to the trash, unfortunately.

it probably does vary by area, I'd imagine.
SrGrumpy
Posts: 1477
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by SrGrumpy »

LittleMaggieMae wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:18 am In the past Goodwill WOULD recycle clothes that could not be sold (or shipped overseas for use).
Golly. I hope this practice has ended.
boglegirl
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by boglegirl »

lightheir wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:42 am ...
I asked him about the types of clothes I had donated in the past - clean but sort of old t-shirts, jackets that were perfectly good but had broken zippers or a small tear, pants that had minor wear signs - he told me without question all of my clothes would have gone straight to the trash, unfortunately.

it probably does vary by area, I'd imagine.
I guess it does vary by area or by charity. I was an avid thrift-store shopper for years (when I had young children) and found many bargains. But I eventually gave up thrift-store shopping because most of the clothing I was seeing was so well-worn AND overpriced. If I want to pay $5 for a colorful t-shirt I can find one on clearance at Target, brand new...I don't want one that's pre-faded and pilled for the same price.
User avatar
GerryL
Posts: 3122
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:40 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by GerryL »

I wear a lot of my stuff until it practically disintegrates. I cascade items from "best" to "okay for errands" to "house and yardwork only." If I decide I really can't wear something anymore (doesn't fit) or I have replaced it or I just don't want it, it goes to the apes. Seriously. When I go volunteer at great ape sanctuaries, I bring a large suitcase and fill the empty space with clothing to donate. No, they don't (generally) wear it; it's used as nesting material.

One of my volunteer jobs is processing donations, including clothing. (Taking off zippers, buttons, etc.) A lot of the donated items are in much better condition than the clothing I am wearing.
hi_there
Posts: 794
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:00 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by hi_there »

I cut some of the old clothes into ropes to tie plants.
User avatar
CABob
Posts: 5027
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:55 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by CABob »

Bob
tim1999
Posts: 3865
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by tim1999 »

I keep maybe two pair of worn-out shirts and pants for yard work use only. Otherwise anything worn-out, faded, etc. goes in the trash. I enjoy wearing clothes in good condition and quickly retire anything that no longer meets that standard.
chemocean
Posts: 424
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:45 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by chemocean »

Wear around the house, and gardening. But not off our lot. Has worked really well in COVID year.
minesweep
Posts: 1392
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:17 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by minesweep »

I take the good stuff to a local Via thrift outlet. The really worn stuff goes (regrettably) in the trash (or I use some rags for cleaning purposes before it ends up there). The in between stuff I take to a local recycling center that accepts the following textiles:
Textiles (old clothes, paired shoes, belts, handbags/purses, drapes/curtains, towels, sheets & pillow cases, blankets, table cloths, fabric remnants no larger than 5’X7’. Not accepted: Pillows, carpet or carpet remnants, canvas. Materials should be not be soiled or shredded and must be in clear plastic bags.)
How to Recycle Textiles
Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy - John Bogle | Learn every day, but especially from the experiences of others, it's cheaper! - John Bogle
bhchica
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:49 pm

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by bhchica »

A few months ago I was on my village's website (in the recycling section, looking for information about something else) and discovered that our village offers textile recycling. Like another post said - you put the items in a bag (I obtained mine at our village hall), set them at the curb on garbage/recycling/organic waste pickup day, and they're picked up. A couple new bags are left (tied to our recycling bin) to replenish our stock. (I actually ended up going back to village hall for more bags. I was thrilled to be able to recycle all the old throw pillows, bed pillows, orphaned cushions from damaged patio sets.) The name of the organization is Simple Recycling, http://simplerecycling.com
Opalmanta
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:11 am

Re: What do you do with well worn clothing?

Post by Opalmanta »

Many Lutheran churches (maybe other denominations as well) create quilts and baby kits for their World Relief organization. Most will accept fabric pieces (or cut up clothing) for the quilts, and recycle most t-shirts into cotton diapers for the baby kits. There are probably churches in your area that participate.
Post Reply