When it involves greening your wardrobe, lots relies on what you do along with your clothes on the finish of its usefulness to you. We urge you to by no means ship clothes to the landfill. Textile recycling is alive and properly within the United States. Almost at all times, nonprofits that settle for donations of clothes will recycle articles that aren’t reusable.
Underwear is usually an exception with clothes donations, for apparent sanitary causes. And with all textiles, there are grades: Is the undergarment reusable or is it worn out? Sometimes underwear continues to be in excellent form and may discover a new person. This is particularly true for youths’ underthings that they develop out of rapidly.
Nonprofits That Accept Underwear
Many nonprofits use donations of clothes and housewares to fund their mission whereas offering clothes to these in want both at low or no price. Some of those embrace USAgain, Easter Seals, The Purple Heart Foundation, and the Salvation Army. Others similar to PlanetAid present usable clothes to sellers in different international locations to distribute of their shops.
All of those teams state that they’ll ship unusable clothes for recycling. The textiles could be shredded and made into soundproofing for home equipment, wiping rags, rug pads, business insulation, and extra.
Those listed above are all giant, nationwide nonprofits. You might have a homeless or transition shelter in your city that’s on the lookout for clothes. I promise you they want underwear. Call or e mail to ask in the event that they settle for gently used lingerie.
More Underwear Recycling Options
If you might be shopping for new underwear, you would possibly flip to some forward-thinking underwear firms that settle for used underwear for recycling. Knickey will commerce you a pair of free natural underwear if you recycle underwear (any model) by way of them. Hanky Panky, a lingerie firm, additionally accepts bras and panties of any model for recycling with a purchase order. Additionally, clothes retailers H&M and Zara settle for clothes of all manufacturers for recycling.
You might need some luck discovering a textile recycling group in your space within the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association database. Also, take a look at Earth911 Recycling Search for areas close to you that settle for “clothing” or “fabric” — remember to name to substantiate the group accepts used underwear.
There are a number of companies, similar to Simple Recycling and Ridwell, that may decide up clothes for recycling in some areas. But when you’ve got an excessive amount of textile recycling alongside along with your underwear, you would possibly wish to flip to TerraCycle, an organization that believes every part could be recycled and makes it occur. You should purchase a TerraCycle Fabrics and Clothing Zero Waste Box to fill and return to the corporate. A caveat: This helpful service doesn’t come cheaply, however works properly in the event you pool assets with others. You also can verify for TerraCycle’s free clothing recycling applications; these change periodically and are normally restricted to sure clothes sorts and types.
Bra Recycling and Donation
You have a number of extra choices for direct donation and recycling your bras than you do for different lingerie. The Bra Recycling Agency (B. R. A.) accepts worn-out and unusable bras for recycling. The Bra Recyclers will recycle worn-out bras and donate any usable bras to these in want.
Still More Options for Your Undies
If you’re extra of a DIY recycler, there are much more choices to your underwear. Consider upcycling your underwear cloth; if it’s a cute sample, flip your lingerie into an adjunct or patch.
If your underwear is 100% cotton, you would possibly strive slicing it into strips and seeing what occurs in your backyard compost pile.
As a final resort, you’ll be able to at all times lengthen the lifetime of your lingerie by utilizing them as cleaning rags.
Originally printed on April 27, 2021, this text was up to date in November 2022.