Don't Waste — Donate

One’s trash is another's treasure. Let’s each do our part and commit to donating items we no longer need. This small habit change can drastically clean up our landfills, plus these items will end up in better homes with a second or even third chance at living their best lives.

With fast fashion running rampant, this means we’re spending less on clothes but accumulating more in our homes. The average person throws away 70 lbs of textiles each year, and only 10 lbs (15%) of that is donated; the remaining 60 lbs, unfortunately, end up in landfills.

You might be wondering “what can we do to get rid of our textile waste responsibly?”

Donated Textiles Breakdown

Used Clothing

About 45 percent of donated textiles become secondhand clothing, which is either sold to thrift stores or exported to developing nations

Industrial Materials

Approximately 30 percent is processed into industrial rags, carpet, padding, and insulation

New Fibre

About 20 percent is converted into new fibre for use in products ranging from reprocessed textiles and mattresses to roofing and flooring materials


About 5 percent is discarded because it is unusable for reuse or recycling

Landfills Don't Decompose

A common belief is that throwing away clothes to be placed in the landfill is the same as donating or recycling their textiles, which is untrue. Landfills are meant to store garbage, not break it down. The waste is compacted so tightly with little space for moisture, sunlight, and air to enter, that the waste can be preserved for many years. Even newspapers cannot degrade in a landfill.

Natural fibres (e.g. cotton) can take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill, and synthetic textiles (e.g. polyester) can release toxic substances into groundwater and surrounding soil.

Every Bit Counts

People often may end up tossing their old clothing in the trash because they believe their unwanted clothes are not in acceptable condition for donation (too old, ripped, stained) or that the donation facilities are overrun with textiles – this is also a popular misconception.

All donations are meticulously sorted based on content, colour, and quality to either become second-hand apparel, industrial cloths, or reprocessed textiles. Almost every item can be reused in some way.

Look for clothing collection boxes in your neighbourhood and ask your town or city if they have a textile recycling program as an alternative.

As we become more aware of the threats associated with sending old textiles to landfills, and as new recycling processes develop, it can be anticipated that textile recycling will be a no brainer for everyone in the future.

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