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What to do with all that stuff you have been decluttering

Clothes at a garage saleWe don’t all have massive walk-in robes where clothes can hang all year around.

Some have a ‘floordrobe’ instead of a wardrobe (sound like the kids’ room ever?). Clothes take up most to the floor space, making it difficult to find what you want, when you want it.

If this all sounds familiar, you are not alone. According to the Gumtree Second Hand Economy Report, 89% of Australians have unwanted items at home and a staggering 50% admit to throwing them in the bin.

Having an organised wardrobe will save you time, space, money and help to reduce the carbon footprint of what you wear, and stops that vicious clutter spiral of ‘I couldn’t find it, so I bought another’ or ‘I forgot I had it, so I brought another’.

But once you’ve gone through your wardrobe (and the kids’ floordrobe), what are you supposed to do with all those unwanted clothes?

What do clothes cost the environment?

Did you know?

  • 3 years is the average lifespan of a garment
  • It takes 30-40 years for nylon blend fabrics to biodegrade
  • 47% of the chemicals used in cotton farming are classed as either Possible, Likely or Probable known human carcinogens.

Responsible disposal

Responsible Disposal starts with finding options other than adding your unwanted clothes to landfill.

Want to make some money from all that leftover stuff? Why not host a garage sale? Garage Sale Trail is Australia’s biggest weekend of garage sales and is happening on October 19 & 20 in 2019. Registrations officially open in August but you can pre-register now.

Another favourite is Wear for Success. They provide professional clothing and work skills training to people to give them the best possible chance of achieving their dreams. Wear for Success commenced in 2011 and is a not-for-profit organisation run by a dedicated group of volunteers. Since then they have helped more than 2500 people needing support on their journey back to work.

When it comes time to donate unwanted clothes, it is always best to check with your local clothes charity and ask what can and can’t be donated.

Here are a few guidelines to consider:

What cannot be donated?

  • Worn and soiled clothing, footwear and accessories
  • Clothes that don’t make the grade can be recycled through SCR Group, click here to find a location near you

How best to donate clothes?

  • Cleaned and ready to wear
  • In good repair
  • Packaged in sturdy bags

How to keep your wardrobe sustainable

Now that you’ve decluttered and gotten rid of your old stuff without sending it to landfill, what’s next?

  • Invest in good-quality clothing in colours and styles that suit you.
  • Restyle existing pieces.
  • Hire a personal fashion stylist to get the most out what you have
  • Rethink reusable clothing, why not hire clothing for special occasions
  • Take care to store your clothes correctly to increase their lifespan.
  • Skip the man-made fibres in favour of natural fibres like cotton, wool, linen, silk and bamboo.
  • Compost natural fibres
  • Traditional dry-cleaning uses PERC (perchloroethylene) which is classified by the EPA as a toxic air contaminant. Try saying that one after a long day!


The Bub Hub is proud to support the Garage Sale Trail.

Garage Sale Trail is Australia’s biggest weekend of garage sales and is happening on October 19 & 20 in 2019. Registrations officially open in August but you can pre-register now.

Visit www.garagesaletrail.com.au

About Tanya Lewis

Tanya Lewis created Eco Organiser® after realising her passion was helping people organise their TIME and SPACE – and to do it in an environmentally responsible way. Author of STUFF OFF! and founder of The10R’s© ...

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