Clothes and textiles make up around 6% of household waste in the UK, even although they can be reused or recycled.
Save money and waste by cutting up old clothes and using as cloths and dusters.
Use a dress agency to hire an outfit for that special occasion or to sell a good quality dress you no longer wear. For local contacts see the Yellow Pages or W: www.yell.com.
Donate unwanted clean clothes to charity shops. Any items that cannot be sold will be sent for reuse or recycling via a rag merchant.
Remade in Edinburgh is a community-led initiative with a reuse and repair centre in Edinburgh. Their aim is to share skills, and prevent household goods from going to landfill. They may be interested in donations of textiles and fabric for their repair drop-in sessions:
The Warm Hearts Quilts Group accept used (good condition) cotton and polycotton duvet covers and double/king size sheets as well as other pieces of suitable washable fabric (minimum 12 inches square) and make them into patchwork quilts to give to local people in need, including local hospices, residential homes and other charities both home and abroad.
Use Textile Recycling Points (W: www.recycleforscotland.com). Clothes, blankets, curtains, shoes (paired), fabric and handbags are accepted, as are poor quality textiles/clothes.
Items are taken to a reprocessing centre to be sorted. They are often exported to developing countries whilst the unwearable items are re-spun into new clothes, cut up for rags or reprocessed to make roofing and carpet felt, furniture padding etc.
'Swishing' is a popular way to swap clothes. Look out for local 'Swishing Parties'. W: www.swishingparties.com aims to be the definitive guide for women looking for a swishing party in their town. If you are organising a swishing party and would like to promote it, you can list it on this site for free.
Or you can swish online for free at:W: www.swishing.co.uk
Kids Love clothes is a charity based in Ratho and cover Edinburgh and the Lothians.
They have collection points where you can drop off pre-loved clothes, which will be donated to families in need.
Unwanted outdoor clothing can be gifted to Gift your Gear. There is a Rohan shop in George Street, Edinburgh who act as a collection point.
The Continuum Project also accepts all outdoor clothing via a free post service which they pass onto charities who give them directly to people in need (items must be in good, clean and functional condition). Fill in their donation form which you can download from their website.
Cisera collect clothing in good condition to sell on at car boot sales to raise funds for their organisation which helps international students.
Impact Arts accept fabrics and materials to use in their arts projects. Please call them to arrange collection (no drop off).
T: 0131 661 9102
The Edinburgh Clothing Store are a charity based in Granton who collect clothes, bedding, curtains etc and pass these on to people in need.
Many bargain vintage and unique items can also be discovered in charity shops. Check the Edinburgh Charity Shop and Reuse Map on the Changeworks website.
Other good sources of second-hand clothing are retro/vintage shops and car boot sales. For local contacts see the Yellow Pages or W: www.yell.com.
Cotton is one of the world's most polluting crops, responsible for 25% of all pesticide use each year. Organic cotton clothes are increasingly available in high street shops or by mail order. See Mail Order Catalogues.