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My Trash, Your Treasure!

Unwanted Textiles—A Staggering Fact:

The numbers don’t lie, the U.S. throws away up to 11.3 million tons of textile waste each year—around 2,150 pieces of clothing each second.

  • The clothing industry is the second largest polluter on the planet. About 85% of it will end up in municipal landfills.

  • Some fashion brands such as Zara committed that in 2022, 50% of items sold will be made from recycled materials. Other brands, including some luxury brands, are setting future goals to use more organic or recycled materials.

  • Don’t add to this statistic, shop responsibly, donate wearable items no longer wanted, repair and reuse and dispose of them as a final resort. 

Consign, Sell, Or Donate. 

  • Consign. Here are some for the most well-known online retailers:







    • Etsy

    • eBay

  • Seek out neighborhood consignment, vintage and thrift stores. There are several in Tampa.

  • Sell on neighborhood sites such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor and VarageSale.

  • Donate worn or unusable clothing and fabric to Goodwill, Salvation Army or a local church or charity

  • For business clothing, Dress for Success, a nonprofit with chapters in 94 US cities, accepts donations of women’s suits, shoes, and briefcases, which are passed on to economically disadvantaged women entering the professional world.

  • Bedding, towels and sheets can be donated to an animal shelter like the Humane Society.

  • Old athletic shoes can find new homes. One World Running, a Colorado nonprofit formerly known as Shoes for Africa, sends gently running shoes and gear, soccer cleats, and baseball equipment to athletes in sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, and Haiti.

  • Here is an additional list of items you didn't know you could recycle!

  • Organize a Swap:

    • Another great option for saying goodbye to old clothes is to host a swap party, a great way of merging reuse with socializing and community building. Invite friends and family to bring articles of clothing that they’re looking to give away but are still in wearable condition. Party attendees exchange items for a win-win, they rid their closets of unwanted items and take home new ones.

    • Host a community or “pop-up” event

  • Some retailers operate take-back programs and offer remuneration::

    • H&M Stores accept worn, torn and unwearable clothing and fabrics. Drop-off bins are situated in most stores. They will take fabric items bagged in small bags for recycling, even clothing not bought at their stores. Check with the stores whether bedding is acceptable: 

  • Other options for recycling textiles: and


DIY: Revamping and Repairing Old Clothes:

  • Conduct an online search, for example “revamping old clothes” or something similar to turn up ideas and instructions for ways to breathe life into old clothes.

  • If the task seems too daunting for the do-it-yourself approach, contact your local shoe repair or alteration shop. They may be able to re-sole a once-loved pair of boots or shoes, fix a zipper, or otherwise salvage an article of clothing that you wouldn’t have thought you could wear again.

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