What to do with old clothes that cannot be donated?

What to do with old clothes that cannot be donated?

Every one of us donates the old clothes we don’t want or that don’t fit our children anymore. The organizations take these clothes and give them to the needy or sell them to get money to help the needy. But the clothes that you are going to donate must be in good condition. So here the problem is: what to do with old clothes that cannot be donated? Every issue has a solution because, in this article, you will get to know the creative ideas for using your old clothes that cannot be donated.

Let’s get started!

What are the demands of charity organizations for old clothes?

Before giving your old clothes to a charity, ensure they are clean, free of stains, dry, and wearable. Because thrift stores and charity shops don’t accept ripe, torn, or stained clothes, clothes in poor condition are also useless to them.

The other problem is that some charity shops only accept coats, shoes, and books. They don’t take every article of clothing. When your old clothes don’t meet the requirements of charity and thrift shops, then you start storing these clothes in your store rooms and anywhere else where you find a free space.

What to do with old clothes that cannot be donated?

What to do when you are out of storage? If you are wondering, what to do with old clothes that cannot be donated? So keep calm. You are not alone. Many people are searching for ideas to keep their old clothes in use. Fabric is a thing that can always be repurposed into something useful.

There are many good options that you can choose to make your old clothes useful. These options include making a rug, filling pillows, saving them for sewing projects, making a quilt, and many more that you will read about in this article.

So without wasting time, let’s move toward exciting ideas!

How to recycle old clothes at home

If you are out of storage, then these ideas will be helpful for you both for making space and using old clothes in a different, useful way. The following are the ideas that you can adopt:

Buy-pack or take-pack programs

Many brands offer take-back or buy-back programmes for clothes that are unusable for you. So, first, see if the brand from which you purchased these clothes offers these types of programs. You will get a discount on new clothes or something more attractive if they offer such a program.

Make cotton caps with old t-shirts

What to do with old t-shirts? This idea will be a great transformation of your old t-shirts and a fun activity for your kids, and you will get a chance to spend more time with your loved ones. You can make many caps using old T-shirts very easily. You only need a few things such as:

Old t-shirt with a blank front or backside.

  • Sponge brushes
  • Acrylic paint
  • Printed stencils
  • An Exacto knife or a rotary cutter

Pillows stuffed with clothes

You can use your old clothes to stuff your pillows if you can’t afford new ones. This stuffing will make your cushions more durable. You will not need to change the stuffing as often as synthetic stuffing if you stuff your pillow with your old clothes when they are soft and good-looking. You can also use this to decorate your bed or sofa with extra pillows. But first cut your old clothes, especially t-shirts or other soft-material clothes, into small pieces before stuffing.

Making a quilt

You can also use your old clothes to make a quilt. Sometimes our old t-shirts remind us of beautiful memories. So, this is the best idea to refresh your memories. So first, you need a few old t-shirts, then cut them at the centre to isolate your favourite part. Try to make square-shaped pieces of equal sizes. Then sew them all together to form a quilt. You can put it on your bed to remember your happy memories.

Donate old clothes to an animal shelter

Sometimes thrift or charity shops won’t take your old clothes because they are not in good condition, but it does not mean at all that you cannot donate them anywhere else. You can contact your local animal shelter. These animal shelters take old clothing for warm bedding and other animal purposes. So you can donate them easily.

Make a cute tote bag from old t-shirts

This is a cost-friendly and environmentally friendly idea to upcycle your old t-shirt. So, you should not waste your money on plastic bags at grocery stores. You can use these bags for various purposes, such as groceries, putting your books, and whatever you want to put in them.

So follow the instructions listed below to make this cute tote bag:

  • You will need only three essential things: an old t-shirt (the thicker the fabric, the more studious the bag is), fabric scissors, and washable markers.
  • So first, take an old t-shirt and cut off the sleeves, either at once or one by one.
  • Now cut the neckline area with the help of scissors. If you cannot cut it perfectly, take a bowl of round shape and place it over the neckline. Mark the neckline and cut it with the help of a washable marker.
  • Then make a fringe below and tie it.

Your bag is ready to carry your things.

You can use them for sewing projects

You can also use your old clothes to make your other clothes attractive. Most of the time, we have many pants with holes, so we can use the attractive part of our old cloth to make a patch. Sew in part with the help of a needle over the hole of your favourite pants.

Recycled old clothes into rags

Old clothes having holes in them can also be used to make a rag. So you can do it simply by cutting the old clothes into a square shape. Then sew them together with the help of a needle and thread to make a rag. These rags are used to clean the floors of the kitchen and rooms, clean the bathrooms and kitchen shelves, and for many other purposes.

For insulating your room

There is another useful idea for your old clothes. You can use old clothes to insulate your rooms because the fibers of old garments are suitable for insulating against temperature.

Donate to textile recycling companies

If you have done all the crafts but still have a lot of old clothes, you can donate them to the textile recycling industry. These companies include Salvation Army Textile Recycling and Goodwill Textile Recycling. Some of the companies take only good-condition clothes, or some take clothes made up of natural fibres such as cotton or wool. So make sure you know each textile recycling company’s requirements before donating them.

Refurnish your kid’s wardrobe

You can use your old clothes to give your kids an entirely new doll wardrobe. So you use your mismatched socks to make new dresses for your little girl’s doll.

You can donate to retold recycling

This company gives you a bag that you have to fill with your old clothes. So you only have to drop this off at USPS, or you can also schedule a pickup. This company has been successful in recycling 20 tonnes of waste.

Make a handkerchief

Have you ever been curious about your grandpa’s handkerchief? Tissue paper is better than handkerchiefs, so using your old clothes to make handkerchiefs will reduce tissue paper waste. These fabric handkerchiefs are very useful for seasonal sniffles. You can use this handkerchief again and again.

Create wall art

You can also use your old clothes to make wall art, such as framing the favourite part of your t-shirt, making macramé, and many other ideas to decorate your art. Knowing how to do embroidery will be a great skill for decorating your walls because you can make canvas art and embroidery hoop wreaths.

Make a leather bag

You can transform an old leather coat into a leather bag.

Make waxing strips

You can also use your ripped and torn pants in another way. If you wax your arms and legs at home, you can easily use your pants.

  • To begin, remove your old pants.
  • Make strips of it approximately 12–15 cm in length or 4-5 cm in width.
  • Your wax strips are ready to use.
  • Apply melted wax to your arm or leg, then immediately apply the strips over it.
  • Then press it for 5-10 secs and pull it off.

Compost old clothes.

You can compost it if you have natural fabrics such as 100% pure cotton or wool. If you have a garden in your home, throw it into your compost pile without thinking about anything else, because these natural fabrics will make your plants grow strong and thrive.

Make a denim bind out of old pants

If you have pants that are not wearable, you can use them to make denim bins. That is very easy to make. Follow the instructions listed below to make a denim bin.

  • First, take a pant.
  • Then cut it into two parts.
  • Cut the lower part of the pants to the desired length of your bag.
  • Then stitch it from the bottom side.
  • Now fold it from the upper side to give a little support.
  • Now you can put your accessories into it.

What to do with old clothes for money?

If you are not interested in donating your old clothes, you can sell them at consignment stores. There are mainly two types of consignment sales, such as regular consignment sales and seasonal consignment sales. Before selling your old clothes, call them to know all the specific policies because some stores take only particular items and some take clothes on hangers.

Consignment stores (cash on the spot)

When you sell to these stores, they pay you on the spot. So that is the easiest way to earn money from your old clothes.

True consignment store

These stores don’t pay you on the spot but pay you when your clothes are sold.

Seasonal consignment sales

This is the big consignment sale. This consignment sale is the season when the shoppers potentially buy all your old clothes. Therefore, you can earn handsome money from this sale. But it is very necessary to prepare your old clothes beforehand. This includes pinning, pressing, and hanging your old clothes.

Resell old cloth online

There is a certain requirement for thrift or charity shops to accept old clothes. All the clothes must be in good condition and stain-free. If your clothes are not in good condition and no charity shop accepts them, you can resell them online. Yes! You heard it right. You can resell them because many online companies buy each type of clothing, including socks, stained clothes, bras, and many more. This is the easiest way to get rid of old clothes without leaving home.

Why is there a need to reuse your old clothes?

Our landfills are full of waste and don’t have any space for more waste. So, reusing or recycling your old clothes would be a wise step to reduce the waste. This step also makes our environment pollution-free. Because our landfills are full of pollution, this leaches into underground water and ends up in the oceans.


In short, your search for what to do with your old clothes that cannot be donated has come to an end. Because here we have explained all the possible ideas to make your old clothes reusable.

If you have a creative mind, then no one can beat you. You can make a rag, a handkerchief, a quilt, a tote bag, wax strips, compost old clothes, and donate them to textile recycling companies. Finally, you can sell your old clothes at consignment stores or online stores to get money. So before you waste your old clothes, think about any of the above-mentioned ideas.


What to Do With Old Clothes That Cannot Be Donated – Mon Coeur

24 Things to do with Old Clothes that Cannot be Donated (upcyclemystuff.com)

Upcycled Embroidery Hoop Wreath – Julie Measures

14 Things to Do With Old Clothes That You Can’t Donate | Cake Blog (joincake.com)

What to do with Old Clothes that Cannot Be Donated – Zero Waste Quest

16 Cool Things to Make From Your Old T-Shirts (onecrazyhouse.com)

Leave a Reply