Demand for Clothing Recycling is on the Rise
Earth Day 2013 is just behind us. What a great week it was for community events, tree planting, neighborhood cleanups and much, much more!
Make it Earth Day Every Day: More Americans than ever are looking to lower their family’s Eco footprint, reduce waste and leave a greener planet for the next generation. More of us now expect neighborhood associations and cities to provide easy, convenient solutions to recycle our household waste – glass, paper, organics and electronics.
The newest trend: Most cities are now considering textile recycling, something that in fact has been around for 100’s of years and actually predates any other form of reduce, reuse or recycling. A recent article appeared in USA Today marking the uptrend of curbside recycling programs as well as in-store recycling at retail:
“Businesses, too, are placing collection bins in parking lots and gas stations. During the last year, The North Face, H&M and other retailers have begun using in-store bins to offer customers store vouchers for donating clothes — whatever the brand, and sometimes, whatever the condition.”
So what exactly can be recycled? Textile recycling includes anything that’s a fabric, fiber, cloth or garment. This includes your unwanted clothes, sweaters, jeans, shoes, belts, bags, wallets, jewelry, toys, bedding, towels and other household textiles.
“Anything that is clean and dry can be reused or recycled,” says Jackie King, executive director of Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association, an industry group.
Do your part: Nearly half of donated clothes are still in usable condition and go where they can do the most good. ATRS Recycling supports charities, homeless missions, disaster relief, local thrift stores and thriving second hand clothing markets in poorer nations where demand is high. Garments with rips or stains are recycled as wiping rags, upholstery stuffing and much more. Even at the lowest grades, textiles can be woven into a new thread so nothing goes to waste.