How can I reuse or recycle man-made fabric clothes?
Lynette left a comment on another post asking:
Does anyone know how I can recycle man-made fabrics that are beyond wearing, not appropriate for ‘rag’ etc. People have suggested charity shops, but they wouldn’t want such items. Council 3rd world bins ask for only wearable clothes, so this is becoming a problem. I buy all second hand clothes but have to avoid wool as I am married to a staunch vegan.
As I replied to the comment, I think it depends on the item of clothing/type of fabric – a man-made fleece jacket is going to have different reuses to a viscose camisole or nylon tights. From Lynette’s mention of wool, I’m guessing she’s thinking about fake woollies – polyester or acrylic jumpers/cardigans and coats etc.
If the fabric is a reasonably heavy weight, a lot of the insulating ideas for fleeces would apply. If you’re handy with a needle & thread then you might be able to upcycle the decent parts of the garment into something else – a smaller version of the clothes for a child or a dog.
I also wouldn’t be too sure about charity shops not wanting them – talk to the staff (the stock sorting staff, not necessarily the counter staff) at your local shop and see if they collect items for a “rag man” — textile reclamation companies often have deals with charity shops to take their scraps, and pay the charity shop some money based on weight. Clothes and items not fit for reuse in their current state can be shredded to use as filling, or depending on the fabric, the fibres reclaimed and respun.
Any other suggestions?