From: , The Alternative Consumer , More from this Affiliate
Published May 9, 2008 09:13 AM

How to recycle clothes

One of my sisters, Kate, was spring cleaning a couple of closets recently and after sorting through things she wound up donating most of her clothes to the local church.

But there was a small pile of clothes that looked ripe for the dump. Karmically, she didn’t want to deposit these pre-loved clothes into the trash bin. So she did what sisters do — asked the older one for advice. I came across a great suggestion from organicgardens.com where we discovered that cotton and wool “rags” and old leather gloves could be composted.

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Both Good Will and The Salvation Army are willing to take on even the threadbare threads — they send them to “rag sorters” who make very good use of the material.

Thought I’d pass along a few other tips for recycling your beloved threads

  • Patagonia has a smart system for recycling their clothes or Polartec wear through Patagonia’s Common Threads Garment Recycling Program
  • Montreal-based, On and On is currently accepting used clothes for recycling (previously mentioned here)
  • And NYC residents looking to donate wearable clothes can contact WearableClothes.com, a service that puts still-good garments to good use
  • Related: swap-O-rama, freecycle, clothingswap, pdxswap, u-exchange and swishing

Textiles make up about 4 percent of the weight and 8 percent of the volume of all municipal solid waste in the US — more info @ Institute for Self Reliance and @ Council for Textile Recycling.

How do you keep your used garments out of the landfill?

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