Ideas on recycling immodest clothes donations

Lately I’ve been helping to volunteer with a local Protestant church to assist the homeless. We get a lot of clothes donations, and the homeless are quite recipient and grateful for them. One concern though is when immodest clothes are donated (immodest tops, short skirts, stiletto-heeled shoes, etc.). I’d just as soon as throw away any of these articles as I come across them-the last thing a homeless woman (or any woman for that matter) needs is to be wearing this trashy stuff… but rather than just throwing them away-we do come across a lot of them-do any of you all have any ideas of how I might “recycle” these articles? One idea I had was cutting them up and making stuffing for pillows…. Any other ideas? :hmmm:

Got any quilters handy? You can make blankets or pillows or even tote bags!

Well, not with the shoes with stiletto heels obviously! :stuck_out_tongue:

I like it!!! :smiley: thanks for the idea Bluerose!!! especially the tote bags… the homeless often request things to carry what they own

Some clothing can be modified to make it more modest; i.e., adding a “layered look” panel to a low-cut blouse, or a bottom ruffle (or several) to a short skirt or shirt to make it longer. Tops and dresses with spaghetti straps can be matched up with cute jackets on top, and/or layered with lightweight tops underneath that have sleeves and a higher neckline. Items that can’t be modified can be cut up to make quilts, throw pillows (though I’d use regular polyfil or foam, not fabric strips, as the pillows will be much lighter and easier to keep clean), totes, and even patchwork jackets.

If you can find some, a few skilled sewing volunteers should be able to do the things I mentioned, and would probably have more ideas, as well. :wink:

You could donate those to a local theater group.

People actually donate stiletto high heels for the homeless? Wow.

Rip off the buckles (or any other design or accent attached to the shoe) and sew it onto something else as an accessory or add-on.

As for the rest of the shoe I have no idea. :hmmm:

High heel shoes give them for starting a fire, or keep a fire going, fuel is needed by everyone. If they were a designer shoe see can they be sold.

Great idea making a tote bag, and any of the buttons or buckles from the shoes, one can stitch or glue them onto the tote bag.(former low cut top etc.)

As one person suggested, try making quilts. Look for similar materials, cut them into simple 4x4 or even 6x6 squares and sew your heart out.

How about making simple stuffed toys for dogs? Use the scraps as stuffing and then sew larger pieces into shapes of birds, mice and snakes. Put them out for sale for cheap.

Some, yes just toss out.

With some of the cotton materials you could make simple pants, skirts and shirts for toddlers?

So, I hope that helps.

BTW, Jim… we just drove through Indio on Saturday, coming home from Monterey! If I’d known you then, I’d have waved!

:wave: There ya go!

Well… Depending on the fabrics and depending on the help you have of people who can sew, I would suggest cutting the fabric and making cloth menstrual pads for the homeless. Even if they just use it once and throw it out, at least it was put to use before it was thrown out

Don’t tear the shoes apart until you have someone with the skill and talent for turning them into something nice. Rip them apart and I would bet good money all you will wind up with is an unwearable shoe and bits and pieces the no one can use.

Fires? You mean those fires shown in TV and movies that the homeless are standing around? I haven’t seen these in real life so I don’t know how realistic they are. I wouldn’t use shoes for fires for a few reasons: if they are cheap the materials (glue, etc.) being burned could give off toxic fumes, and if a person needs a fire badly I’m certain they will burn whatever they can but if I were standing there I would be so angry that rich folk could willy-nilly throw out perfectly good clothing to burn, especially if I once had a nice pair of heels like that.

Again, only if you have someone who has the time to do this with all the shoes one intends to ruin because they are “immodest.”

As above. Those are great ideas and if there are people who can do that with bits and pieces that’s great. But have them lined up first before clothing is taken apart or taken out of the pile that goes to the homeless.

Again, a great idea, but labor intensive. If there isn’t someone who is willing to deep up with that part of the project it might be a waste.

Do any of you know real live people who can do these sorts of things and are willing to commit to them long term? I sort through donated items regularly (not clothing) and sometimes something just needs a few nails, or paint or just needs a good but the organization just doesn’t have the man power (or the storage space) to do those things.

I’ve sorted through clothing donations and I appreciate what you are doing. If you get a decent amount of donations it is a lot of work.

However, you are making more work for yourself. Also, I take issue with what a man is deciding is “immodest” especially if not on a person or even a mannequin. Even if there are women working along side you making that determination could make y’all judgmental toward the donors and recipients. That immodest top might not be immodest at all and feel comfortable in a place with out air conditioning. Those stilettos might be nice for a young lady going to prom.

Unless these people are ready and reliable it won’t help.

Same as above. Unless you have volunteer who have the time to do this and you can rely on them it will be a waste of time to separate out the alleged “immodest clothing” and may take away the perfect layering piece from a person who can use it.

I’m not sure who the homeless are here (on the streets? in a shelter? couch hopping? or not literally homeless but can afford regular clothing stores?) So, consider that ladies might want a pair of stilettos to wear and feel pretty. Or a high school student who is invited to Prom.

Last thought: what people often need but it isn’t donated are socks, underwear, bras, t-shirts. I’m thinking about donating gift cards to a shelter an designating them for those things but especially bras. There are one size fits all kinds of bras but they aren’t always appropriate and you can’t just go out and buy a bra for someone and guarantee it will fit.

I apologize if I seem ranty but I do see the need end of this on a regular basis and have also worked on the sorting end too.

Some of the items you deem to be “immodest” might not actually be in certain circumstances. For instance, as another poster mentioned, sometimes low-cut tops can be layered and become perfectly modest. Also, a skirt might be short on one woman but quite modest on a shorter woman. And stiletto heels (though probably impractical) aren’t inherently immodest. I’m sure you have good intentions, but consider that these items can still be of use as articles of clothing.

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