Textile recycling is what we call where textile recyclers turn old clothing, shoes and fabrics into new products. Materials are sorted, cleaned and turned into industrial rags (called ‘wipers’), or they’re shredded down for stuffing or fibre recycling. Textile recyclers usually pre-sort materials to separate any reusable clothing first – these are sent for resale. Some of the unsold items are sent overseas so that small business owners can supply their local marketplaces.
Major retailers like American Eagle Outfitters and H&M also now accept clothing for reuse or recycling. Providing items to developing nations also creates jobs, helping people earn a living wage and reinvest earnings into their local economy.
So how else can we help to recycle our own clothes:
- Clothing swap. Who doesn’t like getting together with friends swapping our clothes for their’s? My friend’s have some clothes I’d love to wear, what a great way to have a get together with friends and get some new treasures for your closets.
- Sell your clothes at a consignment shop or even on facebook for some extra cash. Consignment shops are great for taking your quality clothes, and facebook has some great groups for selling off your old clothes that you no longer wear. The best part make some money for the clothes you no longer wear.
- Turn it into something you can use or love. My grandmother use to take mine and my sisters old clothing from when we were younger and turn it into blankets. You can pretty much find anything online to help you make anything out of your new clothes. You can make a bag out of a old tank top, or take a shirt from your grandfather and make a pillow out of it, the options are endless.
- Mend your clothes. Grab a thread and needle and patch up that hole that’s in your jeans or other article of clothing.
- Use old fabrics for cleaning. If your like me and are always searching for a rag to clean the inside of your vehicle but never have one, find a old shirt and put it to use. Old clothes that can’t be mended are great for cleaning anything. They can be washed over and over again so you’ll never run out of rags to clean.
By redirecting your clothing to another use, you’ll keep your clothes out of landfills and maybe get a great new wardrobe in the process! Whats better than that?