An estimated 40,000 tons of textiles are disposed each year in Seattle and King County, including clothing, rags, curtains, linens, shoes, bags, hats, stuffed animals, pillows, fabric scraps, upholstery and other similar products.
Even textiles that are not reusable, such as individual shoes and socks, stained or torn clothing, or clothing with missing buttons or broken zippers can be recycled. An extensive used textile collection, sorting and grading, and processing infrastructure exists in the U.S. Recovered textiles have strong end markets, including rewear, wiping rags and fiber.
Recycling textiles conserves valuable material resources and landfill space.
King County LinkUp and Seattle Public Utilities are working together and with local textiles collection companies and organizations to divert more textiles from disposal. Threadcycle is a campaign designed to educate the public that nearly every large collector in our area accepts clothes, shoes and linens in any condition, except wet, mildewed or contaminated with hazardous materials. Some of these items can be resold, and others are recycled into new products.
Check back regularly for updated resources and news on what’s happening with textile reuse and recycling.