Can Clothes Be Recycled? 5 Underrated Ways to Use Old Clothes That Cannot Be Donated
Spring cleaning season is in full swing again, and that means finding the extra energy to sort your waste requires a bit more planning. If you’re the type to throw everything into the garbage bin when you’re tidying up your living spaces then take a look at these 3 spring cleaning and recycling tips to make your life easier. One of the most common places people like to start their spring cleaning is the closet. But what do you do with all those old clothes? Your first thought might be to donate them to your local charity or thrift store. What do you do with old clothes that can’t be donated? Can clothes be recycled? Let’s discuss:
What to Do With Old Clothes That Can’t Be Donated
If you grew up receiving hand-me-downs as a kid, then you likely have experience with clothing that isn’t exactly in the best shape to donate. If you have a few articles of clothing or other similar textiles such as bedsheets that are past their prime, don’t throw textiles in a commercial trash can or recycling bin. Instead, this is what you should do with textiles that can’t be donated:
- Cut or tear your old clothes up and make them into rags for cleaning
- Dye the fabric and turn it into something usable like a hair elastic or headband
- Use the textiles as pillow stuffing
- Wear old stained or damaged clothing for painting projects or other dirty tasks like yardwork
- Practice sewing or patch repair
The above options are great examples of upcycling your old clothes and textiles to repurpose them into something new. If you’re still unsure about this approach… consider reading our older blog by clicking here: Upcycling vs Recycling.
Can Clothes Be Recycled?
Another option is to recycle your textiles, it may require some extra effort but CleanRiver has been providing textile recycling solutions for over 30+ years. We can safely say that recycling old textiles is definitely worth the extra effort! This doesn’t mean that you can throw your old clothes directly into a blue outdoor recycling bin or any commercial recycling bin though. Instead, here is a list of the correct ways to go about recycling old clothes and textiles:
- Find a Diabetes Canada blue box that says “Textile Recycling” on the front, they accept everything as long as the items are dry or bagged.
- Value Village, Goodwill, & Salvation Army will likely accept your old clothes that can’t be donated regardless because they already have recycling programs in place to sort their waste into the appropriate streams.
- H&M stores also have a very good recycling program for textile recycling and will gladly accept all clothing items regardless of condition or brand.
- Americans: While not necessarily a clothing recycling program… Nike has a reuse-a-shoe initiative where they will take back any Nike brand shoe for recycling and repurposing. This service is currently unavailable in Canada, but another notable brand-specific recycling program is offered by Patagonia. Just note that they only accept Patagonia brand textiles.
For those of you that have more than just a closet’s worth of old textiles to throw out, consider starting a textile recycling program. A great place to start would be to design your own custom commercial recycling bin strictly for textiles. Luckily CleanRiver recycling solutions has a handy tool to do just that! Click here to use our configurator to design your own custom textile commercial recycling bin.
Looking for more recycling program tips? Check out these other blogs:
- The 6 Things Your Recycling Program Is Probably Missing
- 5 Pro Tips For Buying a Recycling Bin
- 3 Ways to Increase School Recycling
CleanRiver Recycling provides a variety of innovative, flexible, and customizable recycling solutions. Start saving money today with our green recycling programs.
If you have additional questions that weren’t answered in this blog post please call us at 1-866-479-4038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org