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Worker seeks advice on best use for old polos after company's ridiculous apparel policy: 'I really don't want to throw them away'

"I've used one or two for dish rags and cleaning, but I've still got about 8-10 left over."

"I've used one or two for dish rags and cleaning, but I’ve still got about 8-10 left over."

Photo Credit: iStock

You know that work uniform in the back of your closet? The one from an old job you'd like to forget about, that you'd never wear anywhere else because of the company branding and general tackiness? 

Now multiply that shirt by 10. 

A Redditor has taken to r/ZeroWaste to present this exact conundrum. 

"I have a bunch of old polo shirts from work (they insist on replacing our polos every year) and I don't really know what to do with them," they wrote on their post. "I've used one or two for dish rags and cleaning but I've still got about 8-10 left over. They're branded polos and they're not particularly comfortable so I don't really want to wear them around and they won't sell but I really don't want to throw them away. Any tips and tricks would be appreciated!"

According to Earth.org, the apparel industry produces over 100 billion garments per year, and 101 million tons of them end up in landfills. This means that a garbage truck full of clothes ends up in a landfill every single second — where they will contribute to the production of planet-warming pollution. 

In the U.S., the average consumer throws away 81.5 pounds of clothes each year, and on our current trajectory, the industry's global emissions are expected to increase by 50% by the end of 2030. 

That's why it's so wasteful for this company to replace their employee's polos each year. Fortunately, the comment section of this post was overflowing with creative suggestions from other Redditors. These included turning the shirts into fancy bathroom towels, making a quilt or rag rug, crafting scrunchies or eye makeup remover cloths, and simply donating them to a thrift store.  

"I've bought polos with random company logos at thrift shops, goodwill, etc," one user commented, "and have used them as over-shirts for my kids when we do particularly messy crafts."

Whatever the solution, reusing these items is far better for the planet than sending them straight to the trash.  

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