​How To Recycle Old Underwear

To be specific, this blog is about recycling underwear/knickers/pants. For bra recycling, see this awesome blog post.

Undies. They're not exactly an item you can gift to friends or relatives along with pre-loved scarves, shirts and hats. You might wind up chucking underwear in the bin, thinking there's no other option. Sadly, the average person in the U.S. throws away close to 70 lbs. (32kg) of clothing every year due to lack of recycling resources or information.

Hold on! Before you toss those old cottontails into the general waste, stop and consider whether one of the below options is available to you:

1. Compost them

100 percent cotton underwear can become one with your garden via compost. Simply cut off the elastic waistband and any tags or embellishments, then cut the cotton into strips or squares and put it in your compost bin! Remember, synthetic materials such as Lycra won't compost: stick to natural fibres only!

2. Take them to a textile recycling centre or drop-off point

While old undies may not make a great gift, they can be processed for reuse in furniture, insulation and for other purposes. Contact your local council or recycling centre to enquire whether textile recycling is available in your area.

3. Turn them into rags

At my house, old underwear and singlets become cleaning rags, as the soft fabric is perfect for polishing wood, cleaning mirrors and wiping up spills. Rags are super useful to keep on hand: you never know when you'll need to stop a leak, draft, or line a box for keeping an injured animal safe.

4. Turn them into pet toys

Did you check out our awesome blog on dog toys that you can make out of objects around the house? Use old undies for projects that call for rags or scraps of clothing.

5. For clean and good-quality items, donate them

While not all items should be donated (especially ones with stains, rips and loose elastic!), a pair that you've worn once, didn't like, and washed can be donated to local charities, or to homeless shelters, where they can help someone in need.

Have you got another idea of what to do with old underwear? Let us know in the comments below!

Steph Newman Former Social Media Assistant Suggest an article Send us an email

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