We all know to donate our good clothing to thrift shops, but what about the stuff that can’t possibly be sold — the stuff that’s stained or ripped? If you’re like me, you guiltily put it in the trash. So my inner environmentalist was happy to learn that Fresno has a recycling program for these types of clothes. I was doing an interview at Neighborhood Thrift at 353 Olive Ave., about their expansion into a new warehouse and it turns out the growth is because of its thriving clothing recycling program. Clothes that can’t be sold are packaged into 1,000-pound bales (you can see a video of the cool machine that does this here) by workers in a job-training program. Pillows, blankets, even puffy comforters are included too. They’re then sold to companies that turn them into carpet padding, insulation for car doors, oil filter and rags used by mechanics.
Neighborhood Recycling picks up unwanted clothing from 42 Valley thrift shops. You may want to call your favorite thrift shop to see if they do this type of recycling.
Update: The folks over at Goodwill have a similar program. Clothing there is recycled, but also sold to other thrift operations and overseas for people to wear. So any Goodwill donation spot can take your unwearable clothing too.