Find out how to reduce your fashion footprint and care for your clothes for longer! Plus information on reuse and recycling.

We all have clothes and textiles like curtains and blankets that we no longer need or perhaps they are past their best.

With fast fashion, the quantity of clothes produced and thrown away has boomed. The fashion industry is estimated to be responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions – more than international flights and maritime shipping combined (source: WRAP Textiles report). 

WRAP research shows that extending the life of clothes by nine extra months can reduce carbon, water and waste footprints by around 4-10% each.

Fortunately, there are many things we can do to stop clothes and textiles ending up in the rubbish bin! 


Before buying new, check your wardrobe – it’s amazing what we find when we rummage hard enough!

Need an outfit for a wedding or special occasion? See if your friends or family have got anything you could borrow, especially accessories like bags or shoes that you might only end up wearing once or twice!

Still in need of a new top for work or pair of trousers? Check local charity shops, online sites like Vinted or Depop to see if there’s something pre-loved – you’ll be surprised what you can find and it’ll be half the price too! 

Repair and care

To make your clothes last as long as possible, it’s important to know how to care for your clothes properly. Always check the labels for washing/drying guidelines.

Still love your favourite cardigan but it’s got a hole? See if you can repair!

Simple repairs to your clothes could keep them going for longer. Not sure how to start? Search simple repair videos on YouTube. 

If you don’t feel confident making small repairs to your clothes, ask a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or friend to show you!

Alternatively, there are a number of repair cafes in Suffolk where enthusiastic and friendly volunteers are on hand to help with repairs (not just textiles) so do check if there is one near you! 


Fallen out of love with an item of clothing or no longer need that duvet cover or blanket?

You can:

  • Doante good quality clothes and textiles to your local charity or re-use shops.
  • Give your wearable clothes away for free on sites like Freegle, Freecycle and Olio or sell them online on sites like Vinted, Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace.
  • Any clothes beyond repair or re-use could be turned into rags or used for craft projects. Donate them on sites like Olio or Facebook where people might be looking for scrap fabric.
Clothes hanging on a clothes rail.


Recycle your unwanted clothes and textiles at a local recycling bring bank or at any Suffolk Recycling Centre.

Damaged or low quality textiles can be put into textiles banks as well as they will be made into rags or used as stuffing.

If you want to suggest a good site for a new textiles bank then contact us at waste.management@suffolk.gov.uk