Today’s Solutions: May 25, 2024

No matter how much you might want to keep repairing your longtime favorite shirt so you can keep wearing it, at some point, it’s time to let it go. But wait! Don’t throw in the trash. Textile waste, which includes everything from old shirts to carpets and comforters, is an enormous problem. We recycle a remarkably small percentage of textiles in the US, and in 2015, 10.5 million tons of textile waste ended up in our landfills. Instead of tossing your old clothes in the trash, here are a few ways to properly recycle it. One way is to drop off or mail in your old shirt to San-Francisco based retailer Marine Layer, which launched the “Re-Spun” recycling initiative aimed at tackling the problem with textile waste. For every t-shirt you drop off or mail in, you’ll receive $5 in credit, up to a limit of $25 (though there’s no limit on the number of tees you can donate, so it’s not a bad opportunity to declutter your closet once and for all). From here, according to Marine Layer’s website, the shirt will be broken down into fibers, turned into yarn, and then recycled into a new tee to be sold in stores. If you’re feeling a little cynical about a retailer making money off your old clothes, there are other ways to get rid of your old clothes. Of course, you can always try a consignment or thrift store, which may give you more (or less) than the value given by Marine Layer. If left with unsold clothing, however, stores like Goodwill may inevitably ship them off to a landfill. Otherwise, you can use Earth911’s locator to find a retailer or facility that’ll accept your used clothing; both H&M and the North Face stores accept any brand of clothing for recycling or reuse.

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