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Clothes Recycling: 5 Tips To Repurpose And Dispose Of Old Textiles

Textile and clothes recycling is not always on people’s sustainability radar. But now that you’ve managed to create a low-waste, eco-friendly bathroom, it’s time to finally get around to reorganising your bedroom to recycle & repurpose your used clothing, old mattresses & duvets.

Here at Barna Recycling we often find our customers wondering what to do with clothes that are old or no longer fit and textiles that have already seen their share of wear & tear. But don’t worry, we got you covered. There are plenty of sustainable solutions for repurposing, disposing, and recycling clothes and other old textiles, which we have outlined below. 


5 Tips For Clothes Recycling And Disposal


are clothes recyclable


1. Shopping Smart  

Firstly, 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 gone through a complex manufacturing process that uses a high amount of electricity, water, and other energy sources.

Unwanted textiles and clothes recycling & upcycling save energy by reducing or eliminating the need to make materials from scratch. Before you purchase a new piece of clothing, shoes etc, always think do I need it and will I wear it. 


 2. Pass/Swap/Hand Them Down 

Before you decide to dispose of or recycle the clothes and textiles that you no longer use or wear, consider passing them on to a friend or a family member if they might be interested in them. Remember to be honest about any damage and wash the clothes before you pass them along. There are also several online platforms that allow you to swap or re-sell your clothing, such as Facebook Marketplace & Depop to name just a few options available. 

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


Clothes Recycling - Donation


 3. Donate To Charity

You can also donate clothes & textiles in good condition to local charity shops as there are often non-profits and charities that would 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.

Some organisations accepting clothing donations are Enable Ireland, Oxfam, NCBI, Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) and Liberty Recycling. The Irish Charity Shops Association website will help you to find your nearest charity shops & clothing banks near you. 

4. Transform & Upcycle – An Alternative Way of Clothes Recycling

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! Interested in alternative ways of clothes recycling? All it takes is a little creativity and vision. You can check out Pinterest or some DIY YouTube videos for inspiration. 


5. Civic Amenity Sites

If you feel you cannot do any of the above with large volumes of old 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 type of clothing, footwear, textiles, including blankets at selected civic amenity sites. However, an extra charge would apply for disposing of bedding and mattresses. By disposing of your clothing & textile items correctly you are playing your part in making for a cleaner, greener environment.  


where can I dispose of old clothes


How Is The Process For Old Textiles & Clothes Recycling? 

  • After your clothes are collected from the various points the first step to clothes recycling is to segregate them into wearable and unwearable, or usable and unusable products. In most cases washing facilities are used to prepare the clothes for re-use of re-sale. 
  • Once the textiles are properly sorted, they are then pulled into fibres or shredded, which results in yarn. Depending on the end use of the yarn, other fibres may be added into the mix. It then is re-spun so that it can be reused, either by being knitted or woven. 
  • Any fibre that cannot be spun into yards is compressed into filling, such as insulation or textile filling inside of mattresses. 
  • If you’re recycling polyester-based textiles, these are granulated into polyester chips. The chips are then melted so that they can create new fibres for new polyester textiles. 
  • In recent years the most popular method of re-using clothes is charity shops or re-se second chance shops 


Top Barna Textiles & Clothes Recycling Tips: 

  • The big advantage of charity shops is not only are the clothes re-used and not treated as waste, and it also helps provide financial assistance to a particular charity. 
  • If dropping your unwanted clothes to a charity shop, familiarise yourself with other items they make take for upcycling or re-selling such as household goods, books, electrical items etc not all if these shops are dedicated only to clothes. 
  • When dropping off clothes always have a look at what’s for re-sale and help the charity by purchasing something on the same journey. 
  • Bedclothes, duvets are not always accepted by all charities check in advance of travelling. 
  • It’s important to point out clothes that are heavily soiled or damaged can still be taken in some banks and this should be checked in advance. 
  • Old clothing not able for re-use can still be put to good use by being shredded and re-used for things such as furniture stuffing.  


Now that you know there are plenty of sustainable options for old textile and clothes recycling and disposal, how about sharing these tips with your friends and family?

How To Reduce Household Waste Disposal In Your Bathroom


When it comes to reducing household waste disposal, we find that bathroom waste often gets overlooked. However, we all use toiletries, personal care items and bathroom cleaners daily, which makes our bathroom packed with recyclables! 
If you take a minute to examine your personal care, beauty, and general hygiene routine, you might be surprised to find that often there is more waste in your bathroom than anywhere else in the house! From shampoo bottles, shower gels, soap packaging, disposable razors to bathroom cleaners and toilet rolls, the list is endless. And most importantly, you need to know how and where to dispose of your waste correctly. 
Below we have outlined some handy tips and techniques for creating a low-waste, eco-friendly bathroom and reducing household waste disposal.


Start Reducing Your Household Waste Disposal By Decluttering & Reorganising 

Firstly, I am sure you will agree with us when we say the fewer products you have in your bathroom, the less waste you will produce. So, here is how to start reducing your household waste disposal: 

  • Occasionally, dedicate time to reorganise and rearrange all your cosmetics, toiletries, and personal care items, to know what you need and use regularly and keep them easy to reach. 
  • Dispose of the items that you do not need and the ones that have expired 


Shopping Smart Is Key For Reducing Household Waste Disposal 

Many cosmetics, toiletries, and even toothpaste tubes often come with excessive plastic packaging and cardboard boxes, including those that say are eco-friendly products!  Try to avoid purchasing these products if you wish to reduce your household waste disposal.  

  • Opt for products that come with sustainable, biodegradable, or compostable packaging materials, corrugated bubble wrap, biodegradable foam beads and more. 
  • With boxes or bubble wrap, it is always a good idea to reuse them where possible. 


Use Biodegradable Products 

  • Looking to reduce your household waste disposal of plastic? Instead of tossing out used plastic combs or brushes, make the switch to a biodegradable bamboo or wooden toothbrush/hairbrush. You can find wooden and bamboo combs and brushes that are all natural, biodegradable, and very stylish! 
  • Switch to using soap bars and shampoo bars to eliminate the use of plastic bottles completely, dramatically reducing household waste disposal of plastic. This is way more eco-friendly and cheaper when compared to liquid soap, shampoos and shower gels that come in plastic containers and non-recyclable plastic pumps. 
  • When it comes to makeup or skincare, it is quite common to use up cotton pads per day and throw them after use. Instead, switch to using washable cotton makeup removal pads, which can be washed along with your regular laundry. Several make-up brands, in fact, reward you for recycling their old products which might be worth looking into. 
  • To create more impact, look for organic, palm oil-free soaps made from natural ingredients without any animal testing and comes with compostable packaging. 


Know What You Can Recycle In Your Bathroom And Dramatically Reduce Household Waste Disposal 

Are you looking for ways to reduce household waste? The good news is that a LOT of your bathroom waste items can in fact be recycled. Here is a list of that can (and should) be recycled from the bathroom: 

  • Shampoo, conditioner & shower gel Bottles 
  • Toilet roll tubes 
  • Hand soap bottles (reuse or remove the pump dispenser as you cannot recycle it) 
  • Cardboard boxes, e.g., toothpaste or soapboxes 
  • Bathroom cleaner and bleach bottles 
  • Deodorant lids 

Note: Items like nappies, toilet rolls, wipes, and cotton wool CANNOT be recycled and would have to be disposed of in the general waste bin (black Barna bin) 

All items being recycled must be clean, dry, and loose. So be sure to rinse out any bottles and containers before popping them in the recycling bin. You can also check What Goes in My Blue Bin if you are unsure of items that you can recycle. 

Schools Easter Competition

Fancy winning an Easter egg?! Barna Recycling has created a colourful Easter competition for your school. There is a chance for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize in each category.The best out of the bunch will win themselves an Easter egg!

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