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Why donate your clothes, shoes and linens? Learn why from King County's EcoConsumer website

Why donate?

Why give all clothes, shoes, and linens for reuse or recycling?
Nearly 95 percent of the clothes, shoes, and linens that Americans toss into the garbage could have been recycled or reused.* Why fill landfills with these items when they still have value?

You may already donate your used clothing; now you can add your damaged clothes, and linens, and even single shoes, to the same bag and take it to one of the many organizations that accept these types of items.

Thrift stores, drop boxes, and others want it all and they make it easy
In the past, thrift stores, drop boxes and collection sites only accepted “gently used” items. But markets have changed, and now many accept items that are stained, holey, or damaged, or “singles” of items that are normally paired, such as shoes, socks, and gloves – as long as they are not wet, mildewed, or contaminated with hazardous materials. Some are reused, and some get recycled into new products.

Organizations that accept all clothes, shoes, and linens throughout Seattle and King County are easy to find.

Even damaged clothes, shoes, and linens can be recycled or reused.
The average person throws away 70 pounds of clothing per year (shown here), according to EPA estimates. Most of these items could be reused or recycled.

Good for the planet
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 2.25 million tons of textiles were recycled in 2012 – this avoided annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 1.2 million cars on the road for one year.** You can be part of the solution by giving these items for reuse or recycling instead of throwing them away. So gather up your clothes, shoes, and linens – from your mismatched socks to your ripped t-shirts and old, faded sheets – and give them to a donation location near you.

* Post-Consumer Textiles: King County LinkUp Research Summary Report Pg. 1 Download PDF 1.2 MB – King County, April 2014; rev. May 2015.

** Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2012 Pgs. 8 & 1 Download PDF external link , external – U.S. EPA, 2012.

King County Solid Waste Division mission: Waste Prevention, Resource Recovery, Waste Disposal

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