Clothes, Shoes, Textile Recycling
According to the U.S. EPA, a whopping 85% of all discarded textiles – 11 million tons – are sent to U.S.
landfills every year. But clothes, linens, blankets, and other textiles are highly reusable, and if not usable then definitely recyclable! Thrift stores will take reusable textiles. Drop boxes will take it all, even if they are worn or torn. Once you deposit your textiles into the drop box: reusable clothes and shoes are sorted for reuse; damaged or
worn textiles are turned into wiping rags or insulation blankets; beyond that the remains are sorted for use in fiber products.
Concerning non-profit vs. for-profit:
While many people want to donate clothes for a good cause, it is important to
note that in all cases the clothes are sorted, valued, distributed and sold
again to market. Charitable organizations such as Salvation Army and Good Will
Industries are fabulous companies, but frequently they are
overwhelmed with the volume of donations and pass the materials on to
(for-profit) textile companies for processing.
Good Will Industries
The sales of your donations help fund job training programs, employment placement services
and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, lack
education or job experience, or face employment challenges. They accept new or gently used items to sell in the Goodwill retail stores.
They accept: Clothing, Appliances, Electronics and Furniture
To make a donation over the phone, please call 1-800-725-2769.
They accept: Appliances, Automobiles, Clothing, Shoes Furniture,
and Household Goods
H&M group receives textiles for recycling as one of many ways they are striving to fulfill their goals towards a sustainable future. H&M has garment-collection boxes in all stores around the world, making it easier for customers to give their garments a new life. When you drop off clothes you get a voucher.
They accept: unwanted garments and home textiles "from ANY brand, in ANY condition" like old tees or dresses, underwear, socks, stockings, ripped tights, and even old towels and sheets.
USAgain (pronounced "use-again") collects unwanted textiles and resells them in the U.S.
and abroad, effectively diverting millions of pounds of clothing from landfills, generating new revenue streams for U.S. businesses and non-profits, and fueling
local economies in emerging countries.
They accept: Clothes (including Children’s Clothing), Footwear (Shoes, Socks), Accessories (Hats, Belts, Purses, Scarves),
and Linens (Bedding, Blankets, Towels, Curtains). They will also accept worn or torn items that will be used for cleaning cloths or fiber products.
Locations near you can be found using the drop-box locator on the USAgain homepage. They also do recycling drives.
Recycling Drives (no drop boxes)
Chicago Textile Recyclers
Hosting a clothing drive is a great way to recycle used clothing, keeping it out
of the landfill while easily raising money for your organization. We provide
easy fundraising opportunities for churches, charities, synagogues, schools, boy
scout troops, girl scout troops, athletic clubs or community organizations. We
will help you to create this easy project to benefit your organization with no
financial obligation on your part.
They accept: Used Clothes, Linens, Towels, Hats, Purses, Belts, Paired Shoes and Stuffed Animals
7-G Recycling is an organization dedicated to protecting the environment and
supporting our local communities. We partner with local non-profits, religious
organizations, schools, community groups and others to accomplish the following
goals: recycling of clothing, shoes & household textiles; helping our local
communities fund local programs; and ensuring that the recycled clothing
benefits people in our communities as well as people in third world countries.
They accept: Clothing, Shoes, and Household Textiles
Please note: Information above is intended as a guide to
residents. Any omissions are unintentional. Additions, updates, or corrections
should be referred to the Kane County Recycling Office at