Recycling your clothing


Don’t throw your clothes away! Way too many items go into the landfill every day that could be salvaged and repurposed. Nearly 100% of textiles and clothing are recyclable. However, textile waste is estimated at approximately 15 million tons per year in the USA. Only 15% of consumer used clothing is actually recycled.

There are a multitude of options for clearing them out in more eco-friendly ways.

  1. Consignment-call your local consignment stores and find out what they are looking for. Most of them are looking for current styles and seasonally appropriate items, and take them on a consignment basis. Some buy them outright and will take all seasons. Consignment takes the most upfront preparation in order to bring the items in ready to sell, but you will get more money per item than for most other options.
  2. Have a garage sale-if you have a lot of items, both clothing and household, it might make sense to have a garage sale to get rid of the most items all at one time.
  3. Sell them online yourself-craigslist, local Facebook trade groups, ebay.
  4. Consign them online-tradesy and poshmark are just two of the online consignment sites that you can check out to see if your items are in demand.
  5. Thrift stores-if your clothing isn’t current, or in great condition, bring them to one of your local thrift stores that take clothing and household items on a donation basis. This way you can still get a tax write-off for the items you give away, and will be supporting a local non-profit organization at the same time.
  6. Repurposing-are you crafty, or do you know someone who is? Reuse your old sweaters to make a blanket or a pillow cover. There are a million pinterest boards to give you inspiration on how to re-purpose clothing items.
  7. Local recycling programs-before you throw those old pillow covers, underwear or any other kind of textile (including scraps) into the garbage can, find out where you can take them locally to be recycled, or if you can put them into your curbside recycling bin.
  8. Bra recycling-there is a great organization called The Bra Recyclers that will take used bras and pass them on to women who need them, or recycle them into other useful items.

Recycling your clothing is an important piece of conserving our natural resources. Just think of the impact if we all did this.