Recycling Fabric to Save and Go Green
Next time you get ready to throw out a piece of clothes, linen or textiles consider recycling as alternative option. Often times, fabrics being thrown away could be reused for another purpose or given to somebody else to get further use out of. Not only can you save some real cash, but also reduce your environment impact.
Textile Recycling Industry
The textile industry in America is a massive industry. Just go to any mall or shopping center, you are bound to find tons of clothing stores or home good stores. In America alone, there 11.9 million tons of textiles or just under 5% of all waste ended up in landfills in 2007.
With this much waste every year, this really opened the doors for textile recycling industry. Every year, fabric recyclers are able to save approximately 2.5 billion pounds of textiles or a little more than 1% of all postconsumer textiles wasted every year. Some of the fabrics are used by the recyclers and the rest is sold to manufacturers that make materials with the used materials. Contrary to what you may think, used textiles have a fairly high value and all parties are able to at least recover all costs in the process. What’s neat that many types of fabrics can be recycled in some fashion including cotton, fleece, denim, linens and many more.
The easiest way to recycle those extra fabrics laying around the house is to reuse textiles. All you need is a good all around sewing machine and your good to go. Whether you make repairs to existing items or creating unique pieces out of several different types of fabrics, it’s easy to see how you can really make a huge impact. Think of all the money you spent on buying the particular item, why not get more use out of it? Even if you didn’t spend a lot of money, why contribute to overfilled landfills when there was no reason to throw it out. Some great ways you can reuse fabrics include:
Photo by binaryape.
Quilting can be a wonderful idea for just about any type of fabric scraps laying around your house. Nothing is new about this concept, especially back in the days when there wasn’t a Jo-Ann fabric right down the street, along with many not living as lavishly as we do now. People had to be much more creative with what they had available. Try creating a new family tradition by finding clothing and other fabrics laying around the house and sew a quilt with your children. You can even make quilts or donate fabrics to make quilts for charity.
Just because you lost a button or an item has a small tear, there is no reason to throw it out. People are so sensitive to wearing something that is not in perfect condition, but will buy clothes already ripped or faded? Save yourself some money and either make simple repairs by yourself or get somebody you know who is good with a sewing machine to make them for you.
One great example of re-purposing is in terms of under shirts that I wear. By the time I am done with them, they usually are stretched out and can’t be reused as a fabric in other purposes. I reuse them by cutting them up for use as a small towels to wipe things up around the house. I save money on paper towels and I don’t have to throw those old shirts out.
Another great way to recycle those extra fabrics you have laying around the house is to donate them. Donating them allows other people to have items that you no longer want either free or a very inexpensively. Many people clothing items just sitting in their closet that were only worn a few times, if at all. Why not donate those items and allow others to get use out of them. Some great places to donate those items are:
- Salvation Army
- Purple Heart
- PlanetAid – They have bins all over the place to easily donate those old clothing items.
- Soles4Souls – Donate those old shoes.
- Used Clothing for Women
Photo by alanstanton.
There are other ways to recoup some of the cost of those clothing, while still providing a way for people to buy quality clothes at an affordable price:
- Ebay – Auction off the items.
- Consignment shops
- Classified ads