5 Ways to Avoid Donating Your Clothes

September 12, 2020

Cleaned out your closet but don’t know what to do with the clothes (and want to avoid donating)? Here are some ideas! 

By Julia Kropivny

Fabric recycling is tough! While there are tons of DIYs online, they often require a lot of time and sewing skills. Not to mention that usually, the end result is something that you’ll never use (definitely a bummer)! For those of us who just want a way to repurpose the spoils of our closet clean out, here are 5 things to do with your old clothes. 

1. Make a tote bag

Reusable bags are a functional way of reusing those t-shirts whose print you love, but that you just don’t wear anymore. Just lay the shirt flat, cut out a semicircle at the top, and cut an additional hole in the centre of said semicircle for the handles. Then you can either sew or cut and tie the bottom shut.

2. Make some scrunchies

Have a shirt with a pattern too cute to waste as a rag? Too stained to turn into a tote bag? Well then, this is the ideal solution. Making a scrunchie takes barely any sewing. For a comprehensive step-by-step, go see this super easy scrunchie tutorial.

3. Make dusters and cloths

Back in Ye Olden Days, when buying cleaning supplies wasn’t easy, all clothing finished its life cycle as rags. Jeans, shirts and trousers all make excellent cloths to wipe the shelves, do the dishes with, or replace the old cloth on your Swiffer sweeper.

4. Make face masks

For something so current, you will find tons of patterns online. Start with this soft and stretchy mask tutorial. If you can make many, donate them!

5. Compost them

If you have some clothes that you want nothing to do with anymore and aren’t fit to donate (don’t worry, we’ve all been there), add them to your compost heap! For this to work, the item in question must be fully made from a natural fiber, such as cotton, linen, wool, or hemp. Synthetic fabrics could be repurposed as a cute rug!

Cut up and shred the fabric so that it breaks down easier – note that it will still take a while for everything to decompose. Who knows, this might even encourage you to start that balcony garden!

We all know that fast fashion takes a toll on the planet. The secondhand market is growing but this also means that charity shops are overwhelmed with poor quality, fast fashion donations. 85% of clothes that we donate end up in landfills in foreign countries. All the while, those countries continue to make more cheap fashion that will be sent back for us to throw away again. As individuals, it can sometimes feel hard to change the environment: but we do have control over our own waste.

Tip: For every 2 items you are thinking of donating, try to find a creative solution for 1 of them.

This is an easy way to #HalveCanadasImpact and increase our #CanadasPositiveImpact 


By Julia Kropivny (she/her)




  1. Fabíola

    Thank you!!! Loved the note about choosing fabrics that can be composted. 🙏

    • Marina

      Thank you for reading and learning along with us 🙂


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