Finding Sustainable Solutions for Unwanted Clothes

Last Updated: June 13, 2024By



Saturday mornings are for unpacking suitcases, hanging clothes, and contemplating sustainability. Here I am, surrounded by fellow seekers, each on a mission to give our old clothes a new lease on life.


Selling my preloved garments at rent-a-rack shops became my go-to move in the past year, a step away from the overflowing local op shop.


We’ve all seen those daunting images of clothes mountains in far-off lands like Kantamanto, Ghana. It made me pause and ponder: where do my cast-offs really end up? Thankfully, options are expanding closer to home.


With over three decades in textiles and education, Sandy Donlan, the brains behind Adelaide’s ReFab Circular Fashion, crafted her boutique to stem the tide of quality clothing into landfills.


“It’s about giving clothes a second chance,” Sandy shares. “Not just the buy-wear-discard cycle, but a preloved journey.”


For many, like Sandy’s customers, it’s not just about making a quick buck. It’s shedding the guilt of a cluttered closet, making space for growth.


Letting Go with a Little Help

Consignment stores offer a hands-free decluttering experience. They pick what sells, take a cut, and hand you the rest.

“Here’s the deal,” says Vicki Hartley from Dress for Success. “We want our clients to strut out feeling fabulous. It’s not about judgment; it’s about finding the right fit.”

Swop takes a different route, buying items outright. But they’re picky – no fast fashion, no undies, just quality goods.

Do It Your Way

I love the vibe of rent-a-rack stores. It’s like renting a piece of prime real estate for your clothes. But remember, trends have a shelf life. Keep it fresh, keep it clean, and watch it fly off the rack.

The Gram Game

Instagram’s the spot for secondhand steals. I’ve bought some gems, but selling my own? Let’s just say, it’s a bit hit-and-miss. But hey, one woman’s trash is another’s treasure, right?

Share the Love

Corporate wear’s a tough sell secondhand. But there’s always a charity looking for a helping hand. Dress for Success dresses women for success, giving them a boost for that big interview.

Patience Pays Off

It took me a year to find new homes for my clothes. And you know what? I enjoyed every minute of it. Some pieces found new life, some stayed in rotation, and some… well, they’re still looking for love. But that guilt? It’s gone. My wardrobe’s clearer, and my shopping’s smarter.

So, next time you’re cleaning out your closet, remember – there’s always a second act for your old favorites.

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