Threadcycle: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound partners with King County and Seattle Public to educate the public
Every day, damaged and heavily worn clothes, shoes, and linens are thrown into the trash because most people think these items cannot be resold, have no value, and are garbage. That is why Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound is partnering with King County and Seattle Public Utilities to change this perception through the Threadcycle campaign. We’re asking everyone to give for reuse or recycling all clothes, shoes, and linens, as long as they are not wet, mildewed, or soiled with hazardous materials.
Textiles in the garbage
Seattle and King County residents and businesses throw away nearly 40,000 tons of clothes, shoes, linens, and other textiles each year. The EPA estimates that the average person throws away 70 pounds of clothing per year. That adds up to nearly 2 million tons of unnecessary waste added to our landfills. According to the association Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles, up to 95% of clothes, shoes, and linens that are thrown in the garbage could have been reused or recycled. But you can help us turn that number around.
It’s not just about “gently used” anymore
Local thrift stores, drop boxes, and other collection sites want damaged clothes and linens—not just those that are “gently used.” Even single shoes, socks, gloves, and other items that are normally paired up are acceptable. Why? Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound and others now have markets that recognize the value of these items and will purchase them. Markets include those for wiping cloths and conversion of textiles back into fiber for new products, alongside reuse and export. Single items like shoes and socks can be matched with other “singles,” sold to export markets, and worn by people who otherwise would not have those items to wear.
Some examples of new products made from recycled clothes, linens, and other textiles include industrial wiping cloths, insulation, and sound-proofing materials for automobiles and appliances and athletic equipment.
Convenient drop-offs or pick-ups
So along with reusable clothes, gather up your mismatched socks, ripped t-shirts, and faded, old sheets. You can place all your items for reuse or recycling into one bag or box. We make it easy for you to give. Take them to a nearby Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound collection site or contact us to arrange for a pick-up. More clothes, shoes, and linens are acceptable than ever before. To locate the nearest Big Brothers Big Sisters donation bin, click here.
To learn more about Threadcycle, visit kingcounty.gov/threadcycle.
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