What is recycled clothing?
It involves recovering old clothing and shoes for sorting and processing. End products include clothing suitable for reuse, cloth scraps or rags as well as fibrous material. Interest in garment recycling is rapidly on the rise due to environmental awareness and landfill pressure. Which fabrics are recyclable?
According to Recycle Nation, nearly every kind of fabric can be recycled. Even gross, old underwear can be recycled. Clothing is perhaps the easiest to recycle. Simply donating clothing to a local community organization, non-profit, or thrift store is one way of recycling your unwanted clothes.
Why is recycling clothes important?
It Conserves Vital EnergyEvery piece of clothing you’re wearing has gone through a complex manufacturing process that uses a high amount of electricity, water, and other energy sources. Recycling clothes saves energy by reducing or eliminating the need to make materials from scratch.
How can recycling clothes help the environment?
When clothes end up in landfills they create greenhouse gases, so recycling them with Planet Aid instead helps diminish the forces that contribute to climate change. Reusing the fabric in old clothes means less resources, both monetary and environmental, are wasted in growing fiber for new ones.
How are clothes recycled?
Rags are collected and sent to the wiping and flocking industry. Other materials will be sent for fibre reclamation and stuffing. Fibres from the old fabrics are reclaimed and are used for making new garments. Threads from the fabric is pulled out and used for re-weaving new garments or blankets.
7 Important Reasons to Recycle Your Clothes
It Makes a Mark on Statistics
Textile recycling makes a big impact on some scary statistics. One of the best ways to transition to constant clothing recycling is by learning about the impact it can make. In hopes to provide more information on why it’s important to recycle your clothes, we’ve outlined a few of these statistics below.
The following statistics are according to the EPA’s 2017 Data tables on Advancing Sustainable Materials Management, “more than 139 million tons of municipal solid waste (52.1 percent) were landfilled.”
“The recycling rate for all textiles was 15.2 percent in 2017, with 2.6 million tons recycled.” This is a significant increase from even ten years ago.
In 2017, 16,890 tons of textiles were generated—only 2,570 tons were recycled, and 11,150 tons were landfilled.
It Reduces Greenhouse Gases
Clothing made from organic materials (cotton, linen) should be biodegradable. However, when people toss out clothes and they end up in landfills, those clothes lack the oxygen needed for organic materials to break down. Lack of oxygen leads to decomposition through anaerobic digestion, which means that microorganisms break down the organic manner, producing byproducts like methane. Produced consistently and uncontrollably, methane escapes into the atmosphere, harming our air quality and our planet.
It Saves Landfill Space
When we don’t toss our clothes in the trash, and they don’t end up in the landfill, so we’re saving loads of space. Landfills are harmful in a variety of ways, impacting not only our environment but also municipal budgets and the health of entire communities. As the statistics showed, 11,150 tons of textiles were landfilled in 2017. That’s tons of space that could have been used for something much more beneficial for the environment. When we recycle clothes and other items, we play a part in reducing landfill costs for cities, which increases the budget for other important city needs.
It Helps Those in Need
Probably the main reason people choose to recycle clothes is that it helps people in need. For example, when you donate to GreenDrop, you can support four different organizations—the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the American Red Cross, the National Federation of the Blind, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Philadelphia. Your clothes are turned into monetary donations to help those organizations. But donated clothes are also often sold to thrift shops or even sent to developing countries. When you recycle clothing, your aid is widespread.
It Reduces Costly Consumerism
For the past few years, people have been raving over the idea of living a minimalist lifestyle. Though it’s not for everybody, the idea of living on less is an important ideal, especially when in reference to consumerism. Materialism does not lead to happiness, and when people recognize that, one of the first things to go is clothing. People purge their closets and shop less—the minimal lifestyle prevents us from participating in costly consumerism, or more importantly, costly waste. When we buy recycled clothing, recycle clothing ourselves, and simply buy less, we’re making a personal impact on the wastefulness and costliness of the textile industry.
It Conserves Vital Energy
The process of producing clothing uses a high amount of energy. Every piece of clothing you’re wearing has gone through a complex manufacturing process that uses a high amount of electricity, water, and other energy sources. Recycling clothes saves energy by reducing or eliminating the need to make materials from scratch. Similarly, when you purchase recycled clothes, you’re playing a role in reducing the volume of “fast fashion”.
It’s Simple
Probably one of the most important reasons to recycle your clothes is how simple it is. Donating your clothes takes only a few seconds more than it does to toss them in the trash. When you think about how much you’re helping the planet when you recycle, it makes it even easier to drive and drop off the clothes or set up a donation pick-up. Better yet, when you partner with GreenDrop, we make it even more simple! All you need to do is pack the clothes in bags or boxes and schedule clothing donation pick-up. We’ll head to your home and take the clothes away—it’s hardly any effort on your part and helps the environment and those in need.
So why not recycle your clothes when it is this easy and helpful to our environment and people in need?

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