Recycling Tips for Used Clothing
Everyone knows that recycling things like metal, glass, plastic, and cardboard is essential to a healthy planet. But did you know recycling used and old clothing and fabric is just as beneficial to a healthy planet? This includes things like clothing, shoes, bedding, towels, curtains, etc. Currently, 95% of it can be reused or recycled! But only 15% of it actually is, which leaves 80% in the landfill.
But how could this happen, if almost all of it can be recycled? Well, most people just don’t know about it. In 1980, around 5 billion pounds of textile waste was thrown away by consumers. This amount increased over 6 times by 2014, to a whopping 32.5 billion pounds. That’s a lot of textiles, especially since the population from 1980 to 2014 only increased by less than 50%, while the waste production increased by over 600%! So, now is the best time to become aware about what we can do to help recycle our textiles! Plus, there are lots of fun and easy ways to recycle your used clothing, bedding, towels and curtains! So, what are the best ways to do it?
You guessed it – one of the best ways to reduce the textile waste is to go shopping at your local thrift shop, like us! Not only does thrifting reduce your carbon footprint and waste, it’s fun and cheap! Why go buy a new outfit for $50 when you can have the same one for $10?
Don’t just bag up your unwanted clothing into a couple of garbage bags and take them to one of those clothing receptacles – you never know who might want to wear a pre-loved outfit or who your clothes will benefit, so take them to your local thrift and/or consignment store! And, you might be able to make some quick cash while you’re at it! It’s really a win-win situation.
There are a lot of ways to reuse and recycle old clothing that’s about to fall apart, like using an old shirt to make a decorative pillow cover! Or if you have something with a fun pattern, try using it to reupholster a chair with it! Have some old jeans lying around? Just cut them up and turn them into a sturdy braided basket that you can use as a cute accent piece around the house!
And, if you’re not feeling very creative or have access to sewing accessories, you can always just cut them up and use the pieces as rags to replace paper towels, which will also reduce paper waste! Two birds with one stone!