What Experts Are Saying About Clothes Recycling

please shareOne of the greatest sources of recyclables live in your closet. I know this because I have seen many a closet. Most of us will never wear all the clothes or the shoes that we own.  It’s springtime, a perfect time to clear the clutter in your closet. And not just your clothes closet, your linen closet is a great place to find textile recyclables as well.

Clothing and textiles are nearly 100 percent recyclable.

Many people are recycling their old attire, either by donation or consignment. The textile making process is energy and resource intensive. By recycling unused clothing you are putting textiles back into the world, and in doing so, cutting down on the number of resources needed to produce new clothing.

There are several options for donating.  If I am not looking for cash for my items, I will often donate clean wearable clothing to a local clothing bank.  These are not resold and are made available to those people in need. I will donate unwearable or unusable items to the Goodwill as they are able to sell it to a wholesaler and use the money back in the community.

I will donate unwearable or unusable items to the Goodwill as they are able to sell it to a wholesaler and use the money back in the community.

I know there have been lots of negative things said about the Goodwill on Social Media.  Please listen to Goodwill Spokesperson and fellow Professional Organizer Lorie “go on a rant.” Hopefully it will change perception.

Once clothing is donated to a thrift store, the store will always try and get the maximum value for the item. If it doesn’t sell for the original amount, the store will most likely put in on sale. If it doesn’t sell in the allotted time it may be donated to a charity, wholesaled to a clothing recycler who will convert it into scraps for another reuse, or sale overseas.

If clothing isn’t wearable, it can become anything from cleaning rags and carpet padding to rubberized playgrounds and insulation.

Does that mean we can donate old dirty clothes?  Heck no!  Please make sure your items are clean.  Even though the cleaned item is not wearable or usable because of spots and stains or rips and tears, it’s ok.  It will be used for another purpose.

Here’s a list of what can be recycled in any condition.

And please remember, donated items can be written off, as long as you reach IRS minimus for donation. The IRS requires that you estimate the value of your donations. Write-offs for items such as clothing and household items can only be obtained if the items are in at least “good” condition. Essentially, if you’re donating scrap materials, write-offs don’t apply here. Talk to your tax professional about your options, and check out Goodwill Industries’ donation guide to get an idea of the value of your donation.

If you are looking to make some cash from your items, there are consignment stores and consignment events.  There are even online sites that will give you cash for your designer fashions.

As always, support local business.  If there is a local consignment shop in your area, please use them.

 Let’s support our local business owners!