So, you’re changing over your wardrobe for the winter months as crisp fall air is quickly replacing the balmy afternoons of summer. Naturally, the question of what to do with old clothes has crossed your mind. Thanks to our good buddies Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, we all know that donating to a thrift shop is one option. However, that is simply reusing clothing, not actually recycling the textiles.
The Ugly Sweater Graveyard
Want to hear a few shocking statistics? The average U.S. consumer throws away 70 lbs. of clothing and other textiles a year. What’s more, that textile waste occupies at least 5% of landfill space, according to the EPA. All those ugly Christmas sweaters and grandma jeans that you hate, you can bet they’re helping to grow landfill mountains. Recycling textiles is a great environmentally friendly alternative to reselling clothing or donating clothing to charity.
A variety of organizations exist to make textile recycling simpler for consumer. The American Textile Recycling Service and the non-profit organization Council for Textile Recycling are just a couple such textile recycling organizations.
Siri, where do I go?
GrowNYC is sustainability resource for New Yorkers with various textile recycling drop off locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.
Green Tree Textiles is another non-profit textile recycling option with drop-off boxes nationwide, including many in New York. They also have an option to request a pick up should that be more convenient for you.
The ATRS has a variety of drop-off bins in southern California to make textile recycling a breeze for busy consumers who are figuring out what to do with old clothes.
The outdoor clothing brand is an industry leader in clothing recycling. They accept all Patagonia products for recycling, and they’ve made the process simple for consumers. According to their website, “While [they] encourage you to find a new home for any garments or items that are still useable, any Patagonia product that has reached the end of its useful life may be sent back to [them] to be recycled or repurposed. Simply wash the items first and use one of the following collection methods:
1. Mail them to the Patagonia Service Center at
Patagonia Service Center
8550 White Fir Street
Reno, NV 89523-8939
2. Drop them off at the Patagonia Retail Store nearest you or at a participating Patagonia dealer – ideally, while you're running other errands, to reduce environmental impact.
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