What Is the Best Way to Dispose of Old Clothing?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

Some clothes are completely wearable but visibly used and/or old so I don’t use them as I have better clothes for the context in which I would wear them (going out, salah, etc.). I dislike donating these to the poor as they’re in a condition that is disrespectful to them. I also dislike throwing them away as that would be wasteful. These clothes have light stubborn stains, pin-sized holes, or thinning of fabric from use.

Answer

Thank you for your question. I am afraid that I don’t have a great solution to this common problem. There are a number of things that you could try.

Options

  • Mend the clothes that you wish to give away so that they are wearable for others
  • Get the stains out with one of the many products available at stores for stain removal before giving them away or keeping them
  • Give them to a tailor who can tear them up and make something else out of them, like a pillowcase, cushion cover, blanket, or tote bag
  • Stuff them into Arab floor cushions or leather Ottomans that require stuffing
  • Drop them off at an animal rescue to be used for animal bedding
  • Give them to an Apparel Recycling Programme, as the one H&M has.
  • Art refresh old clothes by tie-dyeing for example
  • Give them to kids to play dress-up
  • Sell them at a garage sale or online for a couple of bucks so people know exactly what they are buying, or post them for free online with the honest details.
  • Cut them into pieces to use as rags for the real dirty work around the house
  • And finally, the best way to manage your clothing is not to buy too much and to give away your clothing BEFORE they become too damaged to respectfully give away.

When you face a challenge or issue, ask Allah sincerely for a solution, and He will certainly show you.

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next and clothe you with the garments of silk and brocade in the hereafter.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.