How do I Recycle: Used or Unwanted Clothing?

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Our clothing, shoe and other textile waste that ends up in landfills has increased 300% since 1990 and it’s not getting any better. In fact, it's getting worse.

- "Fast Fashion" is a $2.5 TRILLION dollar industry (annually). It's the 5th most polluting industry world-wide and the SECOND largest water polluter globally.
- Textile waste comprisesses 8% of the US total waste and growing. The average American tosses 70 pounds of clothing annually, with 11.2 MILLION pounds of textile waste ending up in landfills each year.

It's no longer whether we should donate or recycle our clothing, it's how. AND it's equally important to be purchasing used or recycled clothing as well, to close the circle and truly recycle and reuse!

Learn more about textile waste and solutions:

NRRA recommends the following three New England textile recyclers:

- Apparel Impact "Apparel Impact is a family and veteran owned textile recycling and community support company. Started in 2013 by the Whitten family, their mission is to keep textiles out of landfills, support local families and children in need and create a sustainable local business that employs local people."
♻ Learn More:

- Ecosmith Recyclers Inc. "Ecosmith Recyclers is a family run business that has collected used clothing/shoes since 1991; paying out over one million dollars to local nonprofits! Ecosmith Recyclers Inc. is a response to the textile recycling needs of southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts."
♻ Learn More:

- Helpsy "HELPSY is a for-profit B Corp with an environmental mission to radically change the way people think about clothing recycling. We make reusing and recycling your clothes and shoes more convenient and easier than ever. The largest clothing collector in the Northeast US, with over 1,800 collection containers and growing, we collected over 25 million pounds of clothes last year!"
♻ Learn More:

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This material is based upon work supported under a grant by the Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Rural Utilities Service. Rural Community Assistance Partnership, Inc., is an equal opportunity provider and employer.