How To Get Rid Of Your Old Underwear: Best Places To Donate & Recycle Used Undies
Written by Konstantina Antoniadou.
Granted, as a part of the zero-waste movement, you might be tempted to make the most out of your old undies to stay true to your sustainability pledge. However, sometimes, it's time to kiss our worn-to-death undies goodbye or, better yet, offer our gently used intimates to someone who will truly appreciate them. We know! Figuring out what to do with old undies can be quite the hassle because local thrift stores might not be thrilled to accept your used bottoms.
What can I do with my used underwear?" we hear you ask. How can you get rid of your underwear sustainably? Most importantly, is there a way to recycle old underwear when they reach the end of their intimate lifetime? The answer is yes!
So before you open your top drawer, take stock of its contents, and finally restock your inventory of intimates, you might want some tips to help you dispose of your worn-to-death and gently-used underwear (bras included, of course).
How To Get Rid Of Your Old Underwear - Our Best Tips
Where to donate old underwear:
Chances are that you have a few undies laying around that you haven't used in a while. So instead of hiding them under piles and piles of new intimates like some dirty little secret, why not donate your old underwear? This way, you'll not only expand their life cycle but also help women in need. All you have to do is wash them - preferably with eco-friendly laundry detergents - and send them their married way.
Here are some ways to donate old and used underwear.
Buy Nothing group: If you love peer-to-peer transactions, there are many "hyper-local" online communities like the Buy Nothing group, for example, where people can give and receive all sorts of things for free -clothing, children's toys, rugs, furniture, and even lightly-used underwear and socks. So why not give it a try?
Clothes The Loop program: The outdoors brand The North Face has its own "Clothes The Loop program" where you can donate your old underwear, shoes, and clothing to reduce textile waste in landfills through recycling. All you have to do is pay a visit to a North Face store or outlet and place your intimates in the bin. You'll also get a 10% discount on your next purchase.
Planet Aid: Planet Aid is on a mission to rescue old underwear from landfills and expand their life through donations. You can send them up to 70 pounds of clean underwear, clothes and shoes directly or put them in one of their many donation bins.
Thread Up: If you want to make some extra cash and donate your own underwear, Thread Up is for you. The online consignment store offers prelabeled "Clean Out" bags for you to fill with your old undies and clothing. Alternatively, you can send your donations directly to Thred Up's charity partners.
Donate your old underwear to women-specific charities:
I Support the Girls: I Support the Girls is a non-profit organization that collects new and lightly used underwear, bras, and extra menstrual products to be redistributed to homeless women. They believe that no woman should let her health and hygiene take the back seat in an effort to feed herself and her family, and we 100% agree.
Free the Girls: Free the Girls helps you to donate old underwear to sex trafficking survivors so that they can sell them locally and regain their financial independence. "I didn't know what was next. But then I started my business and started selling bras," shares one of the women who successfully started their own small business through this program.
The Bra Recyclers: As the name suggests, The Bra Recyclers accepts new or gently-used bras and donates them to survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and breast cancer patients. If you want to offer them brand new underwear, they will gladly accept them, too.
How to recycle your old underwear:
Knickey: The sustainable underwear brand Knickey has an industry-leading recycling program for all your ready-to-retire intimates, including brands, socks, and tights. They turn them into insulation, and you can get free pair of organic cotton undies in return.
Bra Recycling Agency: The Bra Recycling Agency is ready to turn your old bras into carpet padding and their underwires into magnets. The postage fee is around $5, but all proceeds go towards funding breast cancer research which is amazing.
Parade: Parade has teamed up with TerraCycle to offer free underwear recycling to help you sustainably retire all your bottoms without additional costs.
Nonetheless, as much as we love donations and recycling, it's important to make the most out of your undies before you decide to rehome them. Sustainability is all about longevity, and that includes your intimates as well. So if you want to make your underwear last longer, here are some ideas to help you achieve just that.
How To Make Underwear Last Longer
Do laundry the correct way.
We've all been tempted to throw our favorite undies in the washing machine along with every other piece of clothing we own and call it a day. However, don't forget to look at the tag. You can find the suggested laundering method there, including water temperature, drying instructions, etc. That's the best way to ensure that your underwear won't lose its stretch, softness, and luster early on.
Use a pillowcase during laundry.
Sometimes, bra straps look like a tangly mess. That's mainly because our washing machines are not very strap-friendly. All you have to do is put your bras in a delicates bag or pillowcase to keep them in tip-top shape.
Air drying is your new sustainable best friend! Whether it's clothes or undies, air drying leaves them smooth and crinkle-free, all while helping you save energy!
If you spot any stains, fear not! All you have to do is add half a cup of white vinegar to your laundry load. This way, you'll not only remove the persistent stains but also add brightness to whites and neutralize odors.
There you have it! Our best tips on how to get rid of your old underwear responsibly. Whether you want to recycle old underwear or donate them to someone who will truly appreciate them, there are plenty of ways to help you declutter your top drawer sustainably.