Majority of Brits Are Now Recycling or Upcycling their Old Clothing

The desire for fast fashion and low cost clothing is catastrophic for the environment. But recent survey data suggests Brits are starting to do their part in reducing clothing waste.

We hear so many reports of the negative impact of fast fashion on the environment. And indeed, the buy-it-cheap-and-wear-it-once mentality is catastrophically wasteful. 

But there is a little bit of good news amongst the bad when it comes to the climate impact of the fashion industry. A recent survey on recycling and upcycling habits in the UK has found that old clothing is the 4th most recycled or upcycled item amongst UK adults (behind paper, bottles and tins).

This is particularly remarkable given that clothing does not have a designated home recycling offering in the UK and generally, people have to go to clothing banks if they choose to recycle it.

Of course, there’s always the option of the upcycle and creative Britons are clearly enjoying injecting a new lease of life into old clothing this way.

The survey also found that over 1 in 10 recycle or upcycle jewellery too, which helps to cut down on waste here as well as allowing people to restyle a preloved piece that might have otherwise been left in a drawer.

repair reuse recycle clothing

So, if you’re not yet one of the 54% recycling or upcycling their old or unwanted clothing, what can you do with those old clothing items sitting in a bin bag in your wardrobe? Here are just a handful ideas:

  • Pinterest is LOADED with creative ways to make a new outfit from the old clothing you thought you might discard. Check it out.
  • Find your nearest clothing recycling bin here.
  • Consider donating to charity shops 
  • You can sell almost any type of still wearable clothing on resale platforms like Vinted
  • Anything no longer wearable can be cut up (depending on the fabric) and used as things like clothes or turned into bibs for babies!

In other words, if there’s any life at all still in that clothing, make the most of it. If you can cash in on it, do so! Or, if you really don’t think there’s life to be had, then recycle.

If you also happen to have discarded any brand name items there, it’s worth checking on Ebay what the valuation of those sorts of items are too. You might be sitting on more money than you expect!

Let’s all contribute to cutting clothing in landfill!