What to do with your old clothes

As women who love shopping and fashion, it is common to find yourself stuck with piles of old clothes that either don’t fit you, are no longer fashionable or simply don’t matter anymore. Hoarding clothes can become a habit, unless you have a clear plan of disposal.

Josephine Nakafeero, a professional designer and founder of Jose house of creations says up cycling old clothes is a great way to reduce clothes dumping which is common practise in Africa.

“There are millions of clothes dumped in Africa which end up negatively affecting the environment. Here, up cycling is an option. Old clothes when up cycled can make a great deal of money and also bring something new to the designer’s shelf for inspiration,” she added.

Interior decorators recommend creating a space in the house where old clothes are collected before finally being disposed of. In other words, find time in your schedule to sort and rid your wardrobe of old clothes but do it the right way.

Remember the saying Old is Gold. Old clothes can be recycled, re- styled and patched with different stylish pieces to make something new.

Here are 8 ways to creatively deal with old clothes;

Check out local textile collections

Although there are not many textiles collection centres in Kampala, Green shops have established themselves in that business. And they sell second hand clothes at a subsidized price. Locally known as “ekikade” these clothes can be sold downtown at a cheaper price. All you need are the right contacts.

Start second-hand clothes resell shop

Instead of sitting home with piles of clothes, find a busy place and establish a clothes drive sell. Choose a busy time of the day where people are passing through town or leaving work or on weekends when they go shopping and display on hangers or mannequins.


It is honourable to give away what you don’t use anymore because someone out there is praying for that exact thing that you may not find useful anymore. There are many campaigns and drives that make it easy for you to donate items including clothes especially to babies’ homes, and other vulnerable persons.

Rent your clothes

If what you call old is good quality designer old, then you can make an extra income out of it. Consider using social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram to advertise some clothes you would like to rent out along with prices. However, don’t forget to put some strict guidelines so that this venture can remain sustainable.

Swap your old clothes

That one designer shirt you’re trashing is some friend’s favourite. Give them a chance to enjoy the privilege and swap clothes. Let them take yours and you can pick something from their wardrobe too.

Try out some DIY ideas

  • Turn old jeans into flower or vegetable bags.
  • Braid a rug from old clothing.
  • Cut old clothes and stuff them to make pillows.
  • Design jeans with handmade lace or African fabric like Ankara.
  • Add pom poms to up cycle an old sweater.
  • Add gold foil or splash paint to customize plain shirts.

Old clothes don’t always have to be thrown away. There is so much that can be done with them especially if they are not so worn out. At the end of the day, it doesn’t make sense to throw away what others could use. So, if all these options seem energy draining donate.