At some point in the life cycle of your clothing, the time comes when no amount of button or zipper repairs, patches or sewing will bring it back to life. Instead of taking up unnecessary landfill space and throwing unusable clothing or shoes in the garbage, there is another option! Retext Northwest is a locally-based company that recycles unwanted textiles, including clothing, shoes and backpacks. Retext collection boxes are located throughout the Puget Sound.
Unusable textiles are recycled into rags, or pulled apart and reprocessed into fibers for paper, upholstery, pet bedding and insulation materials. For your unwanted reusable clothing and shoes, consider taking them to any of the available non-profit donation sites around the city.
Textiles represent 5% of the total municipal solid waste stream in the US. In 2008, approximately 10 million tons of textiles were buried in landfills(1). The Council for Textile Recycling estimates that approximately 2.5 billion pounds of postconsumer textile products are prevented from entering the waste stream every year. Approximately 500 million pounds of textiles collected are used by the collecting agency, with the balance sold to textile recyclers, including used clothing dealers and exporters, wiping rag graders and fiber recyclers(2).