How to Recycle Clothes

Recycling is often associated with collecting and reusing paper, plastic, and glass. But you can also recycle your clothes! You may think it would be easier to simply discard unwanted clothing, but clothes can clog up landfills and harm the environment, too. Whether you donate, swap, sell, or repurpose, no matter what condition your clothing items are in, there is a way you can recycle them!
[Edit]Steps [Edit]Donating Clothes Choose good quality clothing items to donate. You shouldn’t donate clothes that are stained, ruined, or wouldn’t be used by somebody else. That only makes more work for people who work or volunteer at a donation center or store. Set aside the clothes that you don’t wear anymore, but are still in good condition to be donated.[1] Wash and dry and clothes you plan to donate. Many donation centers and thrift stores cannot accept dirty or wet clothes as they can be a safety hazard. Separate clothes into similar groupings: put shirts with shirts, shoes with shoes, and pants with pants to make it easier for the people who will sort them. Find a local donation center to donate your clothes to. Go online to search for donation centers in your area that will accept your clothes to save on transportation costs and to support a local center. Additionally, many larger charities like Habitat for Humanity often have drop-off locations where you can donate clothes.[2] Contact the organization to make sure they’ll accept your clothing items before you drop them off. Some charities only accept specific clothing items for donation. Donate your clothes to Goodwill to help fund their employment mission. Goodwill has a location in almost every major city and most accept walk-in or drop-off donations at any time and without an appointment. Goodwill uses part of its profits to provide training and employment services for people who are looking for a job, and you can help fund their mission with your donations.[3] Go to to find a location near you. Contact your local Goodwill by phone to see if they have specific times for you to drop off your donations. Give your clothes to a local thrift store for secondhand shoppers. Local thrift stores rely on donations to stay in business and to provide low-priced clothing options for people in your community. You can recycle your clothes back into your local economy by providing your local thrift stores with good quality clothing items.[4] Call the Salvation Army to pick up your clothes. The Salvation Army is a charity organization that uses parts of its profits to support educational programs and initiatives to help the homeless. They also make donating easy by offering a pickup service that will come to your house to pick up your clothing donations. Call your local Salvation Army to arrange a pickup.[5] Go to to find a location near you. Contact a local homeless shelter to see if they will accept donations. Homeless shelters are often in need of clothing items, especially items like shoes and coats. Call or visit a local shelter and ask them what items they are in need of before you donate, because they often do not have the resources to sort your items, and can only accept what they can use.[6] Go online to find a shelter and get their contact information. [Edit]Swapping or Reselling Your Clothes Select lightly used clothing items to be resold or swapped. If you have clothing items that are still in great condition but you still want to get rid of, you can make a little bit of extra cash by reselling them or you can exchange them with someone else for another item that you will use. Choose good quality clothing items to set aside to be sold or swapped for something else.[7] Make sure the clothes are clean and dry. If you still have the tags on the clothing item, all the better! It shows that the item wasn’t worn and even shows the original price. Host a clothing swap to exchange clothes. Invite friends who wear close to the same size (and maybe style) of clothing as you to bring their surplus clothing items and you can compare and exchange items. Clothing swaps are a great way to recycle clothes by giving them to people who like them and will use them.[8] Make a Facebook event to invite people to a clothing swap. They can also post pictures of items they plan to bring to event. Bring your clothes to a local consignment shop to sell them. Go online to search for consignment stores in your area that you can bring your clothes to. Consignment stores accept good-quality clothing items to sell in their shop, and will pay you for your clothes if they think they are able to sell them.[9] Sell your clothes to an online consignment store. Just like brick and mortar consignment shops will purchase clothes from you to resell, there are online consignment stores that will pay you to send them your clothing items that are in good quality. They often will mail you a package that you can use to mail back your clothing items, so you don’t have to do anything but mail your clothes to them and get paid![10] Major online consignment stores include: ThredUp, Poshmark, Kidizen (children’s clothing), Worthy, and The RealReal. But there are many different online shops that will purchase specific items, so check online. Hold a yard sale to sell your clothes. Sometimes, the tried-and-true yard sale is the best way to sell a bunch of your clothes. Post signs around your neighborhood and post on social media advertising the date and time of your yard sale. Organize your clothes into neat sections and wait for people to come through and purchase your clothes.[11] Choose a Saturday morning with nice weather to host your yard sale to attract more people. Label the prices of your clothing clearly. Use an online marketplace to sell your clothing items. If you want to control the selling process, you can sell your clothes using an online marketplace to advertise the clothing item and the price. Sell used clothing on eBay or use Facebook Marketplace to clear out your closet and make a little cash.[12] Take lots of high-quality pictures to use in your online listing. Set a reasonable price, and mention whether you are open to negotiating the price. Clearly label the brand, color, and size of the clothing item. [Edit]Repurposing Your Clothes Recycle clothing that is in poor condition. Your clothes that are just too-far-gone to be worn by someone else can still be reused to make items like car seat stuffing, home insulation, and can be recycled to make new fabric. There are recycling programs that will accept many different clothing items to be repurposed and reused.[13] Contact the Council for Textile Recycling to recycle scrap textile. If your clothes have fallen apart or you have strips of fabric or textile, you can recycle them by contacting the Council for Textile Recycling to find a donation center or a drop-off location to bring your clothes to. Visit their website at to find a location near you. Some donation centers will only accept certain fabrics, so make sure you can recycle your clothes with them before you drop them off. Give your old shoes to Soles4Souls to be recycled. Soles4Souls will accept used shoes to be recycled or repurposed and distributed to people in need all over the world. Visit and use their Find a Location tool to find a donation center near you.[14]! Contact Soles4Souls to request a free box to ship your donation.}} Give the clothes to a clothing company to be recycled. Some companies like Patagonia or North Face will accept their own brand of clothing back to be recycled. They may even offer you a discount on a new item of clothing. Other clothing retailers like H&M and American Eagle have clothing recycling bins in their stores and allow you to donate clothes of any brand to be recycled.[15] Contact the brand of clothes you plan to recycle by going to their website and find out if they will recycle your item for you. Reuse your old clothes to make new things. You can make new clothes out of your old clothes, use the clothing material for arts and crafts, or turn the material into cloths and rags you can clean with. The textiles in your old clothes can be recycled into a number of items that you can still use![16] [Edit]References ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑