JAM | Nov 30, 2021

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Recyclothes

Ategie Edwards

Ategie Edwards / Our Today


Throwing out clothes is the equivalent to littering. Reduce, reuse and recycle! This is something one often hears but not when referring to clothes. Were you aware that clothes could be recycled? This activity can do wonders for the environment.

Here are some important reasons to recycle your clothes.

Recycling bin with clothes and fabric isolated.

Greenhouse Gases

Once a piece of clothing is old and worn out, it is thrown out and usually sent to landfills. As clothes are made out of organic material, landfills are not ideal locations for clothes to properly break down, as the location lacks the oxygen that the clothes need for this process. Instead, clothes sent to landfills break down through a process called anaerobic decomposition (microorganisms break down the biodegradable material). From this process, dangerous greenhouse gasses are emitted that can contribute to an acceleration of climate change. According to the non-profit organisation Planet Aid, recycling 100 million pounds of clothes is equivalent to removing 26,000-35,000 cars from the road.

More landfill space

On average, 12 million pieces of clothing are sent to landfills each year. Landfills are not only harmful to the environment, but harmful to the pocket. Landfills cost millions of dollars to create and millions more to maintain. Twelve million tons of clothes take up very expensive space. If clothes are recycled instead of being sent to landfills, costs will decrease.

Aids developing countries

Recycling your clothes with certain companies will help to assist third world countries. Some of the clothing items are sold to a variety of local countries where it in turn help to support local businesses.

Conserving Energy

When clothes are made, they undergo an extraordinary manufacturing process which uses large amounts of water and electricity. If clothes are recycled, all the energy put into making them does not go to waste.

Apart from selling, composition, textile recycling and repurposing, another way to recycle your clothes is by donating. If you would like to recycle your clothes one way to do so is by donating them to a thrift store. Although thrifting is a lesser known activity here in Jamaica, there are a few establishments that cater to the activity, for example thrift stores.

Thrift Nature Closet JA located in Half Way Tree Kingston, caters to thrifting. You can visit the location to either donate or sell your clothing. Contact them at 876-429-7527 or via Instagram @thriftnatureja.


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