86°Partly Cloudy

Dear PoP – Clothing Recycling?

by Prince Of Petworth November 24, 2010 at 2:30 pm 13 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user rjs1322

“Dear PoP,

We have a bunch of old clothing that is honestly too ragged/well-worn to give to Goodwill, but it still seems like a shame to throw it in the trash. Do you know of a clothing recycler or rag sorter in the DC area? I’ve googled around (and even called Goodwill) without any luck.”

Do you guys have any suggestions?

  • L

    There’s that new boutique clothes store on U Street around 15th that sews new clothes out of recycled clothes. I bet they’d like anything with cool patterns, etc. I forget what they are called.

    You could also contact local art/community centers to see if they would want any of it. I used to work for a community center in arlington that taught sewing and they used old scraps for practice and other projects.

  • herewegoagain

    I have heard that the charity clothing bins sort the donations, and that anything too worn gets sent to a scrapper/recycler. I’ve never been able to confirm it, but I give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve heard the opposite, that the charity bins throw away most of the clothes. They say you should always take donations to Goodwill, etc. in person for that reason.

      I wonder if animal shelters would take them to use as bedding?

      I’m always wondering what to do with old shoes. My heels are always so worn down that they’re lopsided and not safe to walk in, they’re but not worth getting fixed because I can get brand new shoes for less. Still, it seems a shame to throw them away.

    • Leroy

      The YMCA bins in Adams Morgan says clothing donations and recyclable clothing. I doubt they’d ask for it if they didn’t want it….

      • Anonymous

        I guess it depends on who’s the more reliable source– the Goodwill employees who told me that or the bin iteslf.

  • dynaryder

    Patagonia in Georgetown(Wisc below M) has a ‘Common Threads’ bin for recycling clothes.

  • costumemonkey

    I don’t have an answer for the poster, but I would LOVE to know where I can purchase those plaid pants!

    • Mony

      The tag on the flikr pic says somewhere on 11th Street in Columbia Heights.

    • Polytasker

      Costumemonkey, I might be wrong, but from the paint color and the gate it looks like the little boutique on 11th between Kenyon and Lamont (or, between El Rinconcito Deportivo and Room 11 if you work in landmarks). They have some pretty funky stuff, lots of prints and bright colors.

      • costumemonkey

        Thanks! I often make my own plaid pants, but really just can’t be bothered right now.

  • Pam

    Glad someone’s thinking of recycling! I once heard Goodwill etc. spend millions of dollars a year on disposal of unsellable/usable goods … I for one would rather those dollars go to programming!

    Also, that thrift store mentioned in the first comment (that makes out of old clothes) is Ginger Roots.

  • wondering


  • KT

    From the Goodwill website:
    “When Goodwill receives excess clothing donations that won’t sell in the stores, they are baled and sold as textile salvage to salvage companies. This keeps them out of the landfills and earns revenue to support our training and placement programs for people with disabilities and disadvantages. Textile salvage bales have been sold to countries in Latin America and Africa. Credential and regular bales of unsorted goods that may contain shoes and other donations are also available for sale. ”


Subscribe to our mailing list