Overhauling Your Wardrobe? These Retailers Reward You for Recycling Clothes

pile of blue jeans

If you’ve recently lost weight, had a body contouring procedure like tummy tuck or liposuction, or are simply Kondo-ing your closet, you’ve likely got bags of clothes to deal with.

Consignment stores and local charitable organizations are ready to accept wearable clothing—but what are you supposed to do with “undesirables” such as ripped pants or stained shirts that Goodwill can’t resell? Refinery29 recently answered that question, pointing out a number of awesome brands who will recycle your old clothes and provide a discount in return.

Knowing how our patients love shopping to compliment their new curves, we want to highlight some of these retailers on our own blog. We’ve also included some great ideas for upcycling clothing scraps!

Retire those jeans (you know the ones) for 20% off Levi’s

Whether it’s frayed bottoms, a destroyed-by-cell-phone pocket, or one too many leg holes, jeans definitely have a shelf-life (particularly your go-to pair). Unfortunately, there is only so much patching you can do before they become unwearable—and thus seemingly un-donateable. Lucky for fans of denim, Levi’s will accept any unwanted denim to be recycled for use in community-building projects and give you 20% off a single item. Simply drop your jeans off at the Levi’s store in Williamsburg or one near your home to claim the discount.

Not only that, but you can feel good about purchasing your new pair of Levi’s: the brand co-founded the Better Cotton Initiative to reduce environmental impact in addition to offering a line of low-water-use jeans.

 

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Add to the 78,000+ tons of donated clothing collected by H&M

H&M Group boasts a number of popular brands offering stylish pieces in a variety of styles—but they’re doing more than just putting out your new favorite dress. Since 2013, they’ve offered a recycling program that has thus far collected over 78,000 tons of clothing to be sold to an agency that reuses or recycles the garments. For every kilo of clothing, H&M donates .02 euro (around one cent per pound) to individual charities and the H&M Foundation. They also hope to use 100% sustainably sourced materials by the next decade.

 

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When you drop of any article of clothing from any brand at your local H&M group retail store, you’ll also get 10 – 15% off your next purchase.

Love outdoor wear? Donate & score a discount

Outdoorsy folks can grab a new sea-worthy windbreaker (or gear up for Virginia’s upcoming Free Fishing Days) at a discount thanks to the brands North Face and Patagonia.

The North Face partners with Soles4Souls, a non-profit that provides disaster relief through clothing donations. Bring clothes from any brand to your nearest North Face location (ours is in Williamsburg) and walk away with $10 toward your next North Face purchase over $100. Win/win!

Fresh favorites for the season. Explore new arrivals @ http://bit.ly/1L8xMdP

Posted by The North Face on Sunday, January 25, 2015

Patagonia has focused on sustainability for decades, and you can donate your used Patagonia gear to any Patagonia store or by mail and receive a store credit of $10 – $100. You’ll also be happy any new gear you buy will last for years, thanks to free or inexpensive repairs on their clothing through their Worn Wear program, where gently-used Patagonia clothes pieces are collected, repaired as needed, and sold at a reduced price to shoppers.

 

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Want to learn more about retailer clothing recycling programs? Read the full article here.

Ideas for upcycling clothing scraps on your own

Another option is upcycling old clothes. Simply cut away the seams, buttons, and zippers, and voila, you have fabric that’s ready for a new life. Here are 15 creative ways to upcycle fabric, some of which are no-sew projects.

It’s fun to create pillow covers, tote bags, and more with larger pieces and thus enjoy a favorite fabric in a whole new context. Lighter-weight fabrics, perhaps from a stained shirt or skirt you loved, can become a sweet scarf or neckerchief. The smallest scraps can cheerfully top off your homemade jam jars, making them even more perfect for gifting.

 

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Clothing scraps that aren’t worthy of craft projects can simply be made into cleaning rags. Keep a pile handy to mop up spills and reduce paper towel use!

We hope you’ve enjoyed these eco-friendly ideas to help with your wardrobe updates. Got more great clothing reuse or recycling ideas to share? Tell us in the comments.