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Where to recycle textiles?

Between my three boys, they have very few pairs of jeans or pants that are not ripped at the knees. The rate of which they rip their pants outpaces my ability to patch and repair. I have given up patches, but now I have a huge pile of ripped and torn clothing that I am un able to donate. I hesitate to throw them in the trash as someone somewhere must be able to recycle textiles, right? I have plenty of rags so any advice on what to do with my growing pile of torn pants? Is there someplace local that recycles unusable clothing?


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Oh, there should be! Patagonia accepts their clothing back to be recycled at the end of its life: http://www.patagonia.com/us/common-threads/recycle

There must be another organization that does the same - non-brand specific...

goodwill turns rags into rags - they sell them to some sort of rag third party co.

I would suggest posting on Freecycle. There are lots of very crafty people in Portland making things out of recycled materials who may be interested. I have been thinking about stuffing some old jean scraps into the walls of my chicken coop for insulation (I already sound crazy Portlandia for even thinking that). Personally, I use denim and sweaters to make sellable children's clothing and would be thrilled to get (washed and sorted) denim and sweaters for free.

I do know they shred up old denim to make insulation for houses.


I recently dropped off a couple of bags of old clothing/fabric scraps at Wilson High School for the 3-D Design class. Check with your local high school to see if it has a similar class that could use fabric donations. And a lot of community centers are running winter break programs right now - they might like fabric that kids can cut up and repurpose for crafts.

In NC there is Mid-Atlantic Clothing Recycling (MAC) that provides bins at participating stores to gather recyclable clothing to distribute to others in need, and unusable clothing is made into rags.

Here is there website: http://www.mac-recycling.com/managers.html
If you email them at info@mac-recycling.com with your zip code, they say they will respond with the location of the closest bins to you.

Try the Metro Recycling Hotline: 503-234-3000

This is exactly the kind of question they are good at answering.

You can take any textiles to Scrap in Portland. Scrap is the School Community Action Reuse Project, Google it. The place takes donated scrap supplies and sells them back to the community for super cheap as art supplies.

I have dropped lots of ripped clothes. I dont' find any places for it. It's pity I have just found your post with useful comments. Next time I will know what to do. Thanks for the help, guys!

Just noticed on Scrap's website that they don't want clothing or material any longer.

H&M has a new initiative that accepts donation of used clothing in any condition. Take a bag of stuff to one of their stores and they give you a coupon.

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