May 2024

Wardrobe Revamp: How to Dispose of Old Clothes

The beginning of summer is usually that time of the year when you open your wardrobe and start looking for lighter clothes that have been hidden for a long time. It’s also when one might realise that their wardrobe desperately needs a revamp, so it’s time to reorganise the bedroom and make room for the new. And it’s usually after making a pile of old clothing that you’re faced with the question: how to dispose of old clothes in Ireland? What to do with unwanted textiles?

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered!

Here at Barna Recycling, we often find our customers wondering what to do with clothes that are old/no longer fit and textiles that have already seen their share of wear & tear. There are plenty of sustainable ways to repurpose, recycle and dispose of old clothes in Ireland, and we have a list of top tips that will help you decide the best way to dispose of your old textiles.

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5 Key Tips on How to Dispose of Old Clothes

According to research, the average volume per person in the Apparel market has been increasing and is projected to be 75.7 pieces in 2024. Therefore, by correctly disposing of your clothing and unwanted textile items, you are playing your part to make for a cleaner, greener environment. Here are five precious tips to give you insights on how to dispose of your old clothes.


1. Shopping Smart To Reduce Clothing Disposal

It all starts with a change in habits because the smarter you shop, the less you waste. It’s important to understand that the textile industry is the second largest contributor to global pollution (Source: Every piece of clothing you wear or use has undergone a complex manufacturing process that uses high electricity, water, and other energy sources.

Recycling and upcycling unwanted textiles saves energy by reducing or eliminating the need to make materials from scratch. So, before you purchase a new piece of clothing, shoes, etc., always ask yourself, ‘Do I need it, and will I wear it?’.

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2. Pass/Swap/Hand Them Down

Before you decide to dispose of or recycle the clothes and textiles you no longer use or wear, consider passing them on to a friend or family member if they might be interested. Remember to be honest about any damage and wash the clothes before you pass them along. Research shows that second-hand clothing is growing and will represent around 27% of the apparel market share by 2027. There are several online platforms that allow you to swap or re-sell your clothing, such as Depop and Thriftify to name just a few options available.

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Alternatively, you can also see if your friends and colleagues are up for swapping a few items. Invite them over for a few drinks and get the party started. This way, you are giving your clothes a new life, and everyone goes home happy with some new pieces they can add to their wardrobe for free!


3. Donate to Charity

You can also donate clothes and unwanted textiles in good condition to local charity shops, as non-profits and charities would often be extremely grateful for your donation. Over 10 million garments per annum are handled via charity or second-hand shops. Using charity shops often means the sales from the clothing benefit causes in your local area or community.

Enable Ireland, OxfamSociety of St Vincent de Paul (SVP), and Liberty Recycling are some of the organisations accepting clothing donations. The Charity Retail Ireland website will help you to find your nearest charity shops & clothing banks near you.


4. Transform & Upcycle

You can transform clothes that are damaged, stained/have holes into new items such as face masks, tablecloths, cleaning cloths, blankets, padding for chairs, bags, t-shirts, and so much more! All it takes is a little creativity and vision. You can check out Pinterest or some DIY YouTube videos for inspiration.

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5. Civic Amenity Sites and Recycling Centres

If you feel you cannot do any of the above with large volumes of old, unwanted textiles, you can always bring them to your local civic amenity site or clothing banks near you. Some of our civic amenity sites will also accept any clothing, footwear, textiles, including blankets at selected civic amenity sites. However, an extra charge would apply for disposing of bedding and mattresses.


BONUS: 6. Barna Recycling Top Tips

As the number one environmentally friendly waste collection provider, we have put together a list with valuable extra tips to help you with disposing of old clothes and textiles:

  • Consider the charity shops’ big advantage – not only are the clothes reused and not treated as waste, but they also help provide financial assistance to a particular charity.
  • Familiarise yourself with other items charity shops may take for upcycling or re-selling – such as household goods, books, electrical items, etc. Not all of these shops are dedicated only to clothes.
  • Help the charity by purchasing something on the same journey – when dropping off clothes, always have a look at what’s for resale.
  • Bedclothes and duvets are not always accepted by all charities. Check-in in advance of travelling.
  • Point out clothes that are heavily soiled or damaged—although they can still be taken to some banks, this should be checked in advance.
  • Old clothing not able to be reused can still be put to good use by being shredded and reused for things such as furniture stuffing.


Where Can I Dispose of my Clothes?

Barna Recycling has five Recycling Centres across Co. Galway, where you can dispose of all types of non-hazardous and recyclable material.

To learn more about the types of waste material accepted and any charges that may apply, choose one of our locations and click on ‘view accepted items’. Please note waste items accepted may vary depending on location.


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