Social Question

anniereborn's avatar

What do I do with these things?

Asked by anniereborn (15017points) November 11th, 2013

I have way too much stuff that I never use. A lot of clothes and other items.
Anything I don’t use that is still easily usable goes to charity.
But….what do I do with things like clothes that have rips or stains? I don’t want to throw them away. Surely they could be used for something. Or any other types of items that are a little messed up?
This world doesn’t need more junk in heaps all over the place.

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12 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Large, clean soft cotton fabrics like sheets and towels are welcome at any animal shelter for bedding and linings for carriers.

Ditto for anything cotton; they make wonderful rags for washing windows, for example.

The traditional way was to cut up the clothes and use the parts that are not damaged or stained for pieced or appliqued quilts, decorative covers for cushions or throw pillows, braided rugs, etc.

YARNLADY's avatar

Offer anything that you don’t want on Freecycle.org Many people have uses for junk.

Jeruba's avatar

My former employer sponsored volunteer work days; we signed up to spend a day in some volunteer service while on company time. One time I went with a group that put in a day’s work at a warehouse where homeless people could obtain clothes and other goods. Our task was to sort bags and boxes full of donated things onto racks and shelves.

The coordinator told us that if we found anything that wasn’t in reusable condition, because it was too stained or torn or otherwise damaged, we should put it in this pile over here.

I asked what was going to happen to the things in that pile. She said they would be sent to Africa.

“If they’re too spoiled to be useful,” I asked, “why are they being sent to Africa?”

She looked at me as you look at someone who just doesn’t get it. “When you don’t have anything,” she said, “stuff like this looks pretty good.”

That day a little bit of the decent stuff went into the pile for Africa.

Unbroken's avatar

We have a place at the transit center to place give away items freecycle and such programs don’t get enough usage here.

You could put them on craigslist in the free section certain artists use different mediums. Heck one time our college coffee house recycled used tea.bags. for an artist.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ Oh how we have it so bad here in the US and other 1st world nations. Surely those destitute people “over there” are just waiting to get our trash, seeing they don’t have two fig leaves to sew together~ BLESS YOU for putting some better items in that box!

jca's avatar

My boss is from Africa, sends clothes and shoes to Africa and many of them have no shoes and need clothes desperately, and are happy with our old stuff. He takes it all, he sends it all, he pays personally to send it and they’re grateful.

YARNLADY's avatar

In our neighborhood, its the Russians who take all the rummage and send it back home. They drive all over the neighborhoods on the major trash collection days our trash company holds three times a year and take about 75% of the stuff other people throw out.

Smitha's avatar

We recycle all our clothes in the bins.The Municipality has placed Clothing Recycling bins around town. If you sew you can repurpose the clothes into doll clothes or make throw pillows.

anniereborn's avatar

@Smitha Wow, that is great!

LuckyGuy's avatar

I donate good stuff. Ripped and oil stained clothes become rags or are converted into heat by burning in my wood burning stove when I have a hot fire going.

wildpotato's avatar

I like to make rag rugs with ripped clothing. I have a large castle loom I can use to make the big oval ones, but a little frame loom from Michael’s or Hobby Lobby works just fine for rectangular rugs. Cut the fabric in a horizontal zigzag so it becomes one long strip. Don’t worry about the ends bunching up as you straighten the strips out – these will not be noticeable when woven in. It’s amazing how nicely rag rugs can come out.

Edit: there are actually many ways to make these, most loomless.

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