Did you know you can give away your textiles, in almost any condition, to be recycled? It is estimated that charitable organizations collect only 25% of the 4 million tons of used textiles discarded annually in the United States (source). According to the Recycled Textiles Association, up to 95% of donated textiles end up being reusable or recyclable (source). That means the ripped, stained, broken, singles, and worn can be donated. The only restriction are items that are wet and mildewed, or contaminated with hazardous materials.
Any local or national charity accepts damaged items and sends them along to their respected parties such as salvage brokers or industrial buyers. Other options are contacting your local city’s waste management for a textile recycling program. For instance, Seattle offers a variety of options for textile recycling through local charities and at participating transfer stations. Here are a few helpful links for textile recycling in the Northwest:
International: Secondary Materials And Recycled Textiles (SMART) Association
Happy Spring cleaning!