Threadcycle: USAgain partners with King County and Seattle Public Utilities to educate the public

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Every day, damaged and heavily worn clothes, shoes, and linens are thrown into the trash because some people think these items cannot be resold, have no value, and are garbage. That is why USAgain is partnering with King County and Seattle Public Utilities to change this perception through the Threadcycle campaign. We’re asking everyone to recycle 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 12 million tons of unnecessary waste added to our landfills. According to SMART(Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles), up to 95 percent 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? USAgain and others now have markets we can sell to and still make revenue for these items. These markets are reuse exports, wiping cloths, and conversion of textiles back into fiber for new products. 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; padding for carpet, mattresses, and upholstery; insulation and sound-proofing materials for automobiles and appliances; and rugs and blankets.

Convenient drop offs or pick ups
So along with reusable clothes, gather up your mismatched socks, your ripped t-shirts, and your 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 drop off. Take them to a nearby USAgain collection bin, locations available here. More clothes, shoes, and linens are acceptable than ever before.

To learn more about Threadcycle, visit www.kingcounty.gov/threadcycle.

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