You're cleaning out the children's closet and you've already sold and donated all the items that are still in good condition. You're now left with the textiles that cannot be used secondhand—the ones with obvious stains, small tears or holes, socks, mittens, other intimates and et cetera. You're hoping you can save them from the landfill. So what can you do?
A Gentle Reminder about Reselling and Donation
If you've only just started cleaning out the closet, and have not considered reselling or donating those of your children's textiles that can still be used, here's a gentle reminder to do so.
If you've already done this, here are some other things you can do with your children's old clothing aside from throwing them away at this point.
1. Use the old clothing as rags first.
From mopping up spills on the floor to cleaning the furniture, consider using your children's old clothing as rags before disposing of them. For this purpose, you'll want to select textiles that are more absorbent, such as cotton t-shirts or dresses. Avoid stiffer and thicker fabrics like denim as they are hard to clean with.
If a piece of clothing seems too large or unevenly-shaped to be used for cleaning, don't be afraid to cut it up into appropriately-sized pieces. You've already decided that that old dress can't be worn, so you may as well modify it to fit your new needs.
2. Do craft activities with your kids.
If you have a child toddler-aged and above, consider doing craft activities with these textiles. There is a world of DIY upcycling projects you can do with your child once they can be trusted with a needle, some thread and maybe a sewing machine. But even before that, here is a fun idea to try.
Making a Sock Puppet with Old Clothing
Materials you'll need: old clothing, craft glue
- Start with an adult sock or cut one sleeve off your child's long-sleeved t-shirt and sew up one end.
- Cut other old clothing up into small strips and pieces. We recommend you pick clothes of different colours for variety.
- Use craft glue to stick the strips and pieces onto the sock to make hair, eyes, a nose and ears.
- Play theatre with your new sock puppet friend!
3. Donate them to animal shelters.
While these old textiles may not be suitable for human use any longer, they could still be used by animals. If you have old towels, bedsheets or blankets that your child no longer uses, these items can be donated to animal shelters. The SPCA, for example, sometimes accepts such donations.
As with all donated items, please contact the animal shelter directly to enquire if they are currently accepting donations-in-kind.
4. Compost old clothing made of natural materials.
This is for those of you who have your own compost or contribute to community gardens nearby that engage in composting. If your children's old clothing is made out of 100% natural materials, such as cotton or linen, you can cut them into strips and put them into the compost bin.
For a more detailed description of how you can add old clothing to the compost, check out this article.
At Bambino, we are committed to helping parents with their sustainable practices. Don't want to have to deal with clothing after your children grow out of them? Sign up for a baby clothing subscription box today!
(Bambino is not affiliated to the brands or services listed in this article, unless otherwise stated.)