Clothes Recycling – How Can You Recycle Your Old Clothes?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the textile industry and its products produce nearly 100 billion tons of waste every year.
Thus, it’s among the leading causes of environmental degradation, global warming, and climate change, especially in UAE, the shopping capital of the Middle East, where clothes recycling is a fairly new but growing concept.
Today, only 10-15% of textile waste is recycled. The rest ends up in landfills and gets incinerated. This process produces millions of tons of greenhouse gases every year, along with dangerous chemicals leaching into our water bodies. Moreover, it wastes energy, natural resources (water, cotton, etc.), and money.
The good news, however, is that most textiles, especially our old clothes, can be recycled or repurposed in different ways. So, if you’re looking to play your role in reducing the environmental impact of textile pollution and lead a more sustainable lifestyle, keep reading to learn four ways to recycle old clothes.
4 Ways to Recycle Old Clothes
1. Donate Clothes to Local Thrift Stores or Charitable Organizations
The easiest way to get rid of old or unwanted clothes is to give them to someone else. While your friends or family might not be a viable option, you can donate them to local thrift stores or charitable organizations in UAE. Popular places include Dar Al Ber Society, Dubai Cares, Emirates Red Crescent Authority, Thrift for Good, Expat Woman, Bayut, and Thrift for Good, among others.
2. Sell Them
If you have old clothes in great condition that either don’t fit or have no purpose, you can sell them online or at local stores that accept them. There’s a huge market for used or pre-loved clothes in the UAE as many locals and expats choose to shop for second-hand attire, especially those who appreciate a bargain and avoid mainstream shopping destinations.
3. Clothes Recycling in UAE
Thanks to the efforts of the government and green bodies/businesses in the Emirates, there are several large-scale eco-friendly initiatives designed to reduce pollution and reverse environmental degradation. For instance, RECAPP offers a free general waste pick-up service for businesses and residents.
Similarly, some services specialize in e-waste, clothes, plastic, or other types of recycling. For example, Kiswa offers door-to-door clothes recycling service and rewards users for the exchange. Moreover, Hands Industries in Sharjah is one of UAE’s first used textile recyclers. The company buys unwanted clothes, sorts them according to their condition, and exports them to other countries.
4. Turn Old into DIY Projects
One of the best ways to repurpose old clothes is by using them for a different purpose or transforming them into other products. For instance, a torn or faded t-shirt makes a fine dusting cloth or mop. If you have decent sewing/weaving skills, you can cut your clothing and convert them into a grocery bag, quilt, or even a rug.
Turning them into a grocery bag could reduce your use of single-use plastic shopping bags, enabling you to kill two birds with one stone.
So, there you have it – four great ways to recycle your old clothes. Clothes recycling is one of the fastest growing recycling initiatives in the Middle East, with thousands of consumers making more eco-friendly disposal methods. Of course, there are many other ways you can repurpose or get rid of unwanted or damaged clothes, especially if you enjoy DIY projects.
At RECAPP, we aim to educate our clients and readers regarding the different ways they can reduce textile waste and lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Using our app, you can also opt for free waste pick-up from your doorstep and safely dispose of detergent bottles and packaging.