Pet Peeve! Don't throw your clothes away!

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Sometimes I read blogs referencing people sorting their too big clothes into trash and donate piles. Don’t do that! Unless the place you are donating to asks you not to, include everything. Even your old underwear. It gets recycled. It gets sold to third world countries. Let the pros decide if your old ratty clothes are worth anything.

Don’t donate anything you’ve used as a rag or that has chemicals on it. But stop throwing your clothes in the garbage!!

You can find a clothing donation/recycling dropoff using this locator. Also visit Vietnam Veterans of America at As they say, they take almost anything. And you don’t have to be home.

This article on recycling clothing from the LA Times a couple years ago notes

Goodwill and the Salvation Army will… offload [non-saleable clothes] to textile recyclers, who either ship them to Third World countries where they may have a chance of a second life, or sort and resell them to textile “de-manufacturers” who can turn them into materials that can be worked into new materials, whether it’s cleaning rags, carpet padding or rubberized playgrounds. Forty-five percent of recycled clothes are sold to other countries, 30% are turned into cleaning rags and 25% are turned into fibers for stuffing or insulation, according to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textile Assn.

The VVA says

Textile recycling…takes a heavy burden off our earth when we reduce the waste in landfill space. Synthetic fibers do not decompose along with woolen garments; they actually produce methane which contributes to global warming. Textile recycling also avoids many polluting and energy intensive processes that are used to make textiles from fresh materials. It allows less energy to be consumed while processing, which means items do not have to be redyed or scoured.

I use the VVA to donate, because I don’t have a car! Their pickup service varies regionally; mine sends me reminders when they will be on my street. Which is my reminder to donate more stuff. I always have a bag to donate.

How do you manage your old clothes?


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