Old suits can be donated to support groups and organizations or creatively upcycled into home decor, accessories, and unique clothing items. Discover the best ways to give your suits a new life while contributing to meaningful causes.
Continue reading for detailed options on what to do with old suits.
Donating Old Suits
When it comes to disposing of old suits, donating them to charitable organizations that support good causes is a meaningful and impactful choice. Here are some of your best options:
Charitable Organizations for Veterans
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)
The Vietnam Veterans of America is an organization that focuses on supporting U.S. veterans from all conflicts, especially those from the Vietnam War. They accept clothing donations, including suits, which are then resold in thrift stores. The proceeds support various programs such as healthcare, legal assistance, and advocacy for veterans’ rights.
Hire Heroes USA
Hire Heroes USA assists military veterans and their spouses with career development. They offer services like resume writing, job search assistance, and suit donations for interviews. They focus on reducing veteran unemployment and helping them transition into the civilian workforce.
Nonprofits Focused on Employment
Goodwill Industries is a well-known non-profit that offers a wide range of services, including job training and employment placement. They accept suit donations, which are sold in their thrift stores. The revenue is used to fund their various programs for individuals facing challenges finding employment.
A non-profit dedicated to helping men, particularly those with low income or who are unemployed, by providing them with professional attire for job interviews. Career Gear helps these individuals make a positive first impression in their job search and fosters a culture of self-reliance and empowerment.
One Man’s Treasure
One Man’s Treasure is an organization that specifically helps men who are re-entering society after incarceration by providing them with appropriate clothing for job interviews. They aim to empower these individuals and assist in their transition back into the community.
Dress for Success Michigan
Aiming at empowering women to achieve economic independence, they provide professional attire for job interviews. Dress for Success Michigan accepts clothing suitable for the workplace, along with accessories like jewelry and handbags
General Donation Centers
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is an international charitable organization that provides various support services. They accept suit donations at their numerous thrift stores, and the proceeds go towards their community programs, which include disaster relief, homeless shelters, and job training.
Known globally, Goodwill assists individuals in finding employment and setting a positive career path. Donations, including suits, are sold in their thrift stores, and the revenue aids their job training and placement programs. Donating is easy, with many centers available for drop-off
Specialized Donation Programs
They collect clothing donations, including suits, and sell them to thrift stores. The proceeds are donated to their charity partners, like the American Red Cross and the National Federation of the Blind. Green Drop also focuses on eco-friendly practices by recycling unsellable items.
Some soup kitchens, such as Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen, accept donations of suits, shirts, and other clothing items. These are distributed to those in need, particularly helping individuals prepare for job interviews.
Unique Local Options
Homeless Shelters and Local Charities
Many local homeless shelters and smaller, community-based charities accept suit donations. These donations are either directly used by individuals in need of professional attire or sold in charity shops to raise funds for various local programs.
Places of Worship
Many churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship conduct donation drives and often accept men’s suits. These donations support local community members in need.
Selling Old Suits
Selling old suits online can be a practical way to clear out your closet and earn some extra cash.
Here’s a guide to help you through the process:
Assessing Suit Condition and Value
Before listing your suit for sale, evaluate its style and condition. Current styles are more likely to sell, especially those not older than five years. Inspect the suit for any signs of wear and be realistic about its condition.
Remember, any alterations made to the suit might limit its appeal to potential buyers, as they make the suit more personalized to your body shape.
Crafting a Compelling Online Listing
A successful online listing relies on a detailed description and quality photographs. Start with a thorough description. Mention all key details like lining, vents, buttonholes, shoulder expression, fabric weight, pattern, lapels, pant style, and any information from tags.
Measurements such as inseam, sleeve length, and chest dimensions are also crucial. For photographs, use natural light and ensure they accurately represent the suit’s color and condition. A clean, wrinkle-free presentation is essential.
Choosing the Right Platform for Sale
There are several platforms for selling used suits, each with its pros and cons:
- eBay: A popular choice for selling various items, it allows auction-style or fixed-priced listings. They charge a commission of 15% up to $1,000 and 6.5% between $1,000 and $7,500.
- Craigslist: This is ideal for local, in-person sales with no commission but requires more effort in arranging meet-ups.
- Poshmark: This social marketplace is great for fashion items but charges a 20% commission on sales over $15. It offers a large audience and an easy listing process.
Logistics of Selling and Shipping
Once you’ve made a sale, ensure you’re ready to ship the suit promptly. Use a large box to avoid wrinkling and have your printer ready for online shipping purchases.
Be prepared to handle customer inquiries promptly and professionally. This will help in building a good reputation as a seller, which can be beneficial for future sales
Recycling and Upcycling Suits
When considering what to do with old suits, recycling and upcycling are environmentally friendly options that also contribute to reducing textile waste.
Textile Recycling Options
The importance of textile recycling can’t be understated, especially given that a large portion of textiles end up in landfills. The Council for Textile Recycling reports that an average American discards about 70 pounds of clothing and textiles annually, but only about 15% of post-consumer textile waste (PCTW) gets recycled, leaving a whopping 85% in landfills.
Several options are available for suit recycling. Organizations like Goodwill and American Recyclers offer drop-off bins across the country where you can leave your worn-out fabrics. Companies like TerraCycle provide mail-in options, which make it convenient to send your old clothes for recycling.
Various brands also offer their own recycling programs. For example, Patagonia has a recycling program on its website where you can send back damaged clothing. Other programs, like Retold Recycling, allow you to send your clothes in for recycling, repurposing, and upcycling.
Community centers and local recycling facilities often have designated collection points for textiles. It’s a good idea to contact your local waste management department to find out where these are located.
The environmental benefits of recycling textiles are significant. It helps reduce landfill waste and conserves resources.
When textiles are recycled, they are sorted by color and type and then processed back into raw fibers or transformed into new products like carpet padding, mattress stuffing, or even new garments.
This process diverts waste from landfills and contributes to a circular economy where resources are reused and repurposed. It helps in the reduction of the environmental footprint of new textile production.
Creative Upcycling Ideas
When it comes to recycling and upcycling old suits, there are a variety of creative ways you can repurpose the materials for new uses.
Here are some innovative ideas:
- Table Runner: This involves using the legs of the coat pants, a stencil, and paint to create a distinctive and stylish table accessory.
- Quilt from Flannel Shirts: Use old flannel shirts to make a cozy quilt. This project is especially great for those who enjoy sewing and crafting.
- Zip Bags from Old Ties: Convert old ties into fashionable necktie zip pouches.
- Clothing Swap: Organize a clothing swap with friends, family, and neighbors. It’s a fun and sustainable way to refresh your wardrobe without buying new clothes.
- Embroidery and Patching: Add creative stitching or patches to personalize your clothes and cover up any damage.
- Reconstruction: If you have advanced sewing skills, you can reconstruct garments into new styles, like turning old coats into shorts or skirts.
These ideas demonstrate that old suits and other clothing items can be transformed into useful and beautiful new products. It’s all about using your imagination and some DIY skills to give old fabrics a second life.
Transform Your Old Suits
Donating, selling, or upcycling old suits are great ways to reduce waste and help the environment. Each reused suit means one less item in the landfill.
If you’re doing a big cleanup and have more than just suits to get rid of, consider contacting us at EZ CleanUp. Our junk removal services are just a call away. We will ensure that your eco-friendly efforts are complemented with professional and reliable support.