How to Recycle Underwear in Australia

A collection of Candis lace underwear in assorted colors on a pink backdrop, embodying sustainable underwear recycling 2024.

It’s a new year and if you’re anything like me, then a new year is great motivation for reorganising and clearing out your wardrobe! According to the University of Manchester, 12% of the average woman’s wardrobe is ‘inactive’. That’s a lot of clothes!

When I clear out my wardrobe, I aim to donate clothes to charity. This is easy to do for clothes that are still wearable but I’m always faced with the dilemma of what to do with clothes that aren’t re-wearable. This includes items of clothing that are simply past their best, ruined with stains or tears, or any pairs of women’s panties that can’t be re-worn or donated for hygiene reasons regardless of their condition.

If possible, I’d prefer my women’s underwear didn’t go to landfill. 80% of unwanted textiles go to landfill (this includes non-clothing items). That equates to approximately 23kgs per person a year. Wondering how much that is? It’s the equivalent of a full suitcase you’d take on an aeroplane. That may not seem like too much but now imagine one of those suitcases for every person in Australia. Now that’s a lot of fabric going to landfill! I’d prefer not to contribute to that exorbitant figure. So, this begs the question, can I recycle my underwear instead?

How to Recycle Underwear in Australia

Unfortunately, textile recycling for unwearable clothes and women’s panties isn’t as simple as dropping a bag off at your local charity shop or donation bin yet. But there is a company that will collect your unwearable clothing including your women’s underwear and recycle it for you.

H&M runs a global recycling program. You can drop off a bag of pre-loved clothes, including underwear to your local H&M store and they’ll recycle them for you! They’ll recycle any brand including lingerie brands like Candis Creations. Clothes that aren’t re-wearable are recycled into non-clothing items like cleaning cloths or insulation.

So, next time you’re clearing out you’re making room for new sexy lingerie, don’t throw your briefs in the rubbish bin. Recycle them instead!