Where should our unwanted clothes go?

I found it surprising to learn, that of the clothes that go to charity, it is estimated that only 15% are resold within Australia. The rest are sent to landfill or overseas to developing nations and what happens to them there is not always clear. So, if you can find someone who wants your clothes, it is always great to give them directly. Wearable clothes should never go in the landfill bin. You have many options…


  • Sell: Vintage or designer items could be sold online, but be realistic with yourself regarding the likelihood of getting this done. If you donate them to a charity op shop for a cause you believe in, it is the equivalent of giving a cash donation of that amount, so do it and feel proud of your generous self.
  • Hand-me-downs: For things like baby and kids clothes, do you have a friend or family member who would appreciate high quality hand-me-downs? Be careful that you are not just passing your excess clothing issue on to others though!
  • Swap: Join a clothes swap event or, even better, host one with yourself for your friends, family or local community group.
  • Donate:  Good quality, clean items can be donated to op shops. Op shops don’t have washing facilities and can’t sell ripped or stained items. If you wouldn’t give it to a friend, then think carefully if you should be gifting it to an op shop. Don’t transfer the burden of your textile waste to a charity run by volunteers. If you are donating underwear it needs to be brand new and have the tags on.
  • Repair: If clothing needs to be fixed or stains creatively covered before you can wear them or donate them, bring them to the Dunsborough Community Repair CoOp with a patch or a fabric image that we can help you sew on.

The cost of discarding unwearable clothing is significant for charities with an estimated 14% or 27,000 tonnes disposed of by this route.

For items that are not in a resalable condition, check out this article on our Solutions to Textile Waste series – Alternative Uses for Textile Waste.

It is also important to donate items quickly while they are still in fashion and are easier to sell. So don’t delay your decluttering, start right now or schedule when you will do it. 


If you think you’ll need a hand and would like someone else to do the donation, washing, mending etc. for you – get in touch and book a Wardrobe Decluttering with us today.