Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: How to Responsibly Dispose of Clothing

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: How to Responsibly Dispose of Clothing

A recent report revealed many people are still throwing away old clothing. Did you know that in many cases it can be recycled; or in the case of 100% natural fabrics, such as Merino wool, it will biodegrade on its own - disintegrating and returning to the earth from which it came. True story.

It's super important to care about this stuff, because according to experts, landfills are chock full of things like electronics, clothing and diapers - that literally just sit there... forever. 

The good news is more people donated their old clothing in 2016 than in 2015. 

According to Sustainable Brands, "While people continue to donate used items, more than half (54 percent) said they are still throwing out their used clothing and household goods. There are a lot of misconceptions around what can be donated or reused. In fact, 62 percent of respondents threw items away because they didn’t think a donation center would take them, and most people didn’t know it was possible to donate torn or soiled clothing."

“While torn or soiled clothing will not be reused, the fiber in these items can be recycled,” said Tony Shumpert, VP of Reuse and Recycling at Savers, a purpose-driven thrift retailer offering quality used clothing and household goods. “What is more detrimental is for reusable items to be thrown away because people feel it is an inconvenience to take the time to determine what can and can’t be donated.” 

It may not be possible to buy totally 100% natural fabrics, but whenever you can - make it a point to explore those options and support brands who care about where fabrics come from and where they will end up. If you can't buy all-natural, biodegradable clothing, consider taking the same measures to discard your clothing the same way you would a plastic water bottle. Responsibly.

"Walk to work. Recycle your aluminum cans. Remember your reusable shopping bags. These modern-day sustainability mantras help consumers take small steps every day to lower their environmental footprint, keeping plastics out of the oceans and carbon emissions down. But have we considered the footprint of our clothing — one of the biggest polluters in the world?" - Sustainable Brands


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