How does one responsibly get rid of old clothes? Instead of donating or selling clothes you decide to part with (or that are in no condition to be worn again), recycle. Donating is a decent option, but many second-hand stores have so much inventory that they end up having to throw product away. GemText is a company I just discovered, that recycles 98% of the clothing donated to them (the other 2% is truly unusable and is thrown away). 95% of tossed clothing can be recycled, yet only 15% is actually taken to be recycled. Due to this, clothes [solely in the U.S.] take up 70% of our landfills = 2.5 Billion lbs/year. So far, GemText has saved 16,000,000+ pounds of clothes through recycling!
“Some items are used in disaster relief by organizations (such as the American Red Cross) when large quantities of clothing are needed immediately. Other materials might be turned into industrial rags, fibers may be shredded so that they might be re-woven, and still others used for innovative second generation products such as playground chips, insulation, etc. 25% of the items are broken down for fibers and used in insulation or re-woven into new textiles. Approximately 20% is cut into cleaning and polishing clothes for industrial and warehouse uses. Other clothes are targeted for markets in 2nd and 3rd world countries, where they are sold in open-air markets, bazaars, etc. These shops are not only an affordable source of clothing, but they create jobs in-country as well.” (GemTex.com)
Learn more and find a recycling station near you.