Growing up Spring cleaning meant dusting, cleaning the hardwood floors and purging the closets. My mom is a big believer in not wasting anything (I used to make fun of how mangled her toothpaste tube looked at the end of its life). I have learned to appreciate this foundation of trying not to create waste. Clothing was no different, we didn’t buy clothes frivolously, we made them last and most importantly at the end of their life, we donated them. Well, recently this concept of where they go after I am done with them has been on my mind. Were my clothes actually going to the right places? How could I be sure? I decided this time around, I would recycle my clothes the right way.
As my mom and I cleaned our closets, I did so much more strategically. I know that my gently used clothes would end up at Salvation Army but what about the clothes that were far past their wearable days due to stains, holes, etc. How could I be sure that these fabrics would be properly recycled? Beforehand I did a lot of research trying to figure out how to best donate my clothes. Here’s what I found-
This site has a location navigator where you can plug in your zip code, and it will list places in your area where you could adequately recycle your clothing. I had always donated my clothing to the Big Sisters in my town, and I was relieved to find out that and clothing they don’t keep they properly recycle.
ThredUp is excellent for 2 reasons. 1 it is an online secondhand store that has really cute name brands for NOTHIN. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by vintage or secondhand stores because I find the racks chaotic and confusing. Being able to shop secondhand online is something that I am super stoked about and can’t wait to purchase something from them soon.
Second, you can order a kit from them to sell your clothes to them. If you have gently used designer brands, you can ship them to you, and they will send you money back if they choose to keep any of your pieces. For the clothes they decide not to keep, you can either choose to have them sent back to you, or they will responsibly recycle your clothing (they listed the organizations they work with here). I loved this idea especially as a broke college student so I packed up a box of some designer brands that I haven’t touched in years and dropped it off at UPS- that’s it!
Reduce clothes, Reuse clothes, Recycle clothes- we’ve gone through this…
The second worst thing we can do after buying a product we don’t need is throwing it out. We are literally running out of room to drop our shit. I mean yeah we need to stop buying it but, we also need to be more conscious of how we are disposing of our unwanted items. Some people will repurpose your stuff, even if you won’t. We must stop continuing to add to this cycle. Just because your shirt has a big stain on it does not mean it deserves to be thrown in a garbage bag at the end of your driveway as someone else’s problem.