Let's be real here. We can't help with the impulse buys and being convinced by retail stores that we must buy the next hot fashion trend. I've been a culprit of it, for years. Check out what I decided to do about that here. Did you know that North Americans send 9.5 million tons of clothing to the landfill every year? How crazy is that?
It's pretty standard to donate gently used clothing items to donation centers like Goodwill, Salvation Army, Hope, or a local Women's Shelter. But, what do you do with clothing that is beyond salvageable? And maybe just downright embarrassing to donate?
We've rounded up 5 useful organizations that care about making this world a better place, and rather than having really old unusable clothing go to landfills, here are some innovative ways to help.
Terracycle has been doing some amazing work eliminating the idea of waste since 2001. You can order various zero-waste box sizes, fill it up with almost anything and they will find a way to recycle or convert it to energy or insulation. Things that you really don't know what to do with, like old baby changing pads, breast pads, undergarments, torn socks, etc. A box ranges from $100-$300 depending on the size, which can seem a lot, but think of how many thousands of dollars you could save if you shopped less and actually wore down your clothes to the point that you can no longer wear them or donate them!
Nike coined the term Nike GRIND which is a process in which they literally grind down used shoes, converting it to a premium materials palette. They use the newly made material to fill tracks and courtyard surfaces. Today Nike GRIND material is used in 71% of Nike footwear and apparel. Find a location near you here.
3. Drop Clothes Off at Stores That Will Help
Some large retail stores are joining in on the fun, by closing the loop and taking old clothes, reusing or converting it down to usable material that can then be made into new clothing. Companies like Levi Strauss & Co., H&M, and The North Face have drop-off bins in stores.
Check out this organization which will find a way to reuse or convert old textiles into usable material and fiber.
This organization will take bras, sports bras, Mastectomy Bras, and new underwear. To date, they've received over 2 Million bras.