What to Do With Old Non-Vegan Clothes (3 Options)


You likely have some clothes from before you went vegan that aren’t vegan-friendly.

Belts, shoes, wool socks and sweaters, etc.

Unless you have a time machine to stop you from buying them in the first place, you need to deal with them.

In this situation, new vegans typically choose one of three options.

Option #1: Just Use Them Until They Aren’t Useable

I don’t think you need to feel guilty about using something you’ve bought in the past.

You are not increasing the demand for animal products at this point. 

The most environmentally friendly, and respectful (to the animals harmed) choice at this point is for that product to be used as much as possible, by you or someone else. 

Throwing it in the trash isn’t a good option if it’s still in good condition.

With that being said, there are 2 reasons you may not want to pick this option:

  1. You feel gross about wearing them
  2. You feel like a hypocrite

The latter reason is particularly common if you are vocal about your beliefs. It’s hard to feel good about saying “animal products are unethical” while wearing a leather belt.

It’s fully understandable if you don’t want to keep using them, which is why there are 2 other options left.

Option #2: Sell Them

This is the best option in my opinion.

By selling your clothes, you may prevent someone from buying a similar, but new piece of clothing that contains animal products. 

This reduces the demand for animal products, even if it’s just a small amount (every little bit counts).

There are some thrift stores that buy back clothing to resell (although they’re picky and don’t pay well), but your best bet is to use a marketplace like:

  • Facebook’s marketplace
  • Kijiji
  • Craigslist

Option #3: Donate Them

In theory, donating clothing seems like the best option.

However, if you’re just throwing your clothing in those donation bins, you should know that it’s not always put to good use.

While some ends up in the hands of someone who would use them, a lot of donated clothing is thrown into the garbage.

It’s not the worst option if you don’t think you can sell your clothes and want to get rid of them, it’s just probably not the best.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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