Over the years I’ve always wonder why no one has put a method for clothes recycling to use. Yes I’m aware that many people use consignment shops or give their old clothes to charity. What I have always wanted to see is a way to put all old clothing to use. The amount of clothing that ends up in landfills has to be enormous. In many cases used items can’t be given to charity or resold. There are only so many pieces of clothing you can use as rags around the house. So I’d tend to bet that most people just put the old clothing they no longer use right into their garbage can or dumpster. This is a concept that has never sat well with me. Now it seems that at least one clothing manufacturer is seeing things my way. Patagonia offers a product line that can be brought back to retail stores for recycling at the end of it’s use span. To me this is a concept that needs to be emulated by other clothing retailers. If this concept could be undertaken on a large scale the overall cost for such an operation would decrease. Over time the cost to manufacture new goods from the recycled material would also decrease. In the end this would help to reduce the waste stream and maybe even provide reasonable priced clothing.
You can purchase shoes made from recycled materials. Keep in mind though that being eco-friendly is going to cost you more in almost all cases. However you don’t always have to sacrifice style to be a better citizen of the Earth.
The Patagonia program is called Common Threads Recycling Program. Here is some information from their website in regards to what that initiative is and when it started.
Way too much of the fleece insulation and polyester baselayers that are made for angling these days end up in the trash at the end of their useful life. At Patagonia, we’re working to change that. In 2005 we launched our Common Threads Garment Recycling Program, through which customers could return their worn out Capilene® Performance Baselayers to us for recycling. We’ve now added Patagonia fleece, Polartec® fleece from other manufacturers and Patagonia organic cotton T-shirts to our list of recyclables.
Patagonia – Design Innovations Common Threads Fishing Apparel – Garment Recycling, ECOCIRCLE Capilene Recycling