What are clothes made from?

Clothes can be made from lots of different materials such as cotton, wool, polyester or leather. They all require lots of resources to be created as well as chemicals used when treating or dyeing the fabric!

What are the benefits of recycling clothes?

  • They might end up being reused – if the clothes you recycle are wearable they will be reused and sold in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Which is even better than them being recycled!
  • Saves energy and water – if the clothes are not wearable they can still be recycled. This saves a lot of energy and water – it takes around 20,000 litres of water to make one cotton T-shirt and a pair of jeans. That’s enough water to fill 250 bath tubs!

Wow fact: The average British family spends about £1,700 on clothes every year and we keep them for about 2 years.

How are clothes recycled?

  • Clothes are collected from recycling banks.
  • They are sorted into ‘wearable’ and ‘non-wearable’ items.
  • Clothes that are wearable are sent away to be reused.
  • Those that aren’t wearable (around 10%) get cut up and recycled as industrial cleaning cloths.

Where can you recycle clothes?

West Devon, Torridge, Torbay, North Devon and East Devon councils all collect clothes from your recycling bin, box or bag. If you are not in these areas there are lots of recycling banks you can take your clothes to. To find out more about what you can recycle and where it is recycled in your area click here.


Check out our fundraising page to see how recycling old clothes could help your school raise money!

Repairs and Clothes Swish

You can always repair broken buttons or ripped knees to prolong the life of your favourite clothes – click here to find out about Repair Cafes who can help you. Visit RecycleDevon.org to find out more on taking unwanted items to a clothes swap event – where you can swap them with other people for something new to you!