Tackling textiles

In 2017/18 it cost West Sussex tax payers £1.7 million to dispose of textiles binned by their owners. Just over 1,000 tonnes of textiles were thrown into rubbish bins at home throughout Mid Sussex and nearly 4,000 tonnes into the general household waste containers at the Recycling Centres, even though most of these textiles could have been repaired, reused or recycled.

As part of the wider West Sussex Waste Partnership, are asking you to help us with tackling textiles, and reuse, repair or recycle them instead.

Did you know, if you throw textiles away, you are actually paying for them twice?

  1. When you buy them
  2. When you bin them: the West Sussex Waste Partnership has to pay to dispose of your textiles - and that money comes from your council tax

Think before you throw

There are various ways you can help tackle textiles:

Organise your own Clothes Swap Swishing Event

Swishing is an event where you and your friends or local communities can get together and trade in your unwanted clothes for something new to freshen up your wardrobe. From babies clothing to men and ladies clothes, shoes, bags and accessories, these are all things that you could swish. What’s also great is you’re saving your textiles going to waste and saving money too!

Why not hold a clothes swishing party in your own home? You may wish to host a larger public event or swishing can also make a great fundraiser for your local school PTA or charity. So what are you waiting for? Check out our swapping event guide which will take you through the basics you need to start swishing.

Repair, Re-use, Recycle

For more great information on caring and repairing for your clothes, handy tutorials on refashion and upcycling visit these websites:

Where to take unwanted clothes/textiles

If you can’t reuse them yourself there is no need to throw clothes / textiles away. Below are some great ideas on how to dispose of them.

Sell online through websites such as eBay, Preloved, Gumtree or Facebook. You can find further information on our Community Recycling webpage

Donate to local charities. To find your nearest local charity shop visit the Charity Retail Association

Recycle all clothes and textiles, even if they are past their best. Can you re-use them for something else? i.e. cut up old t-shirts for cleaning clothes or alternatively take them to your nearest bring bank site

Last updated: 21 August 2023