Old Clothes, New Purpose

Old Clothes, New Purpose

Sara Majorsky, Business Manager

Do you have any old pairs of jeans that are torn? Any shirts with stains? Clothing is a part of daily life. But like many things in life, they can wear out after so much time. It’s not uncommon for clothes to become worn out, stained, too small, and unacceptable as donations. Many discarded textiles end up polluting the environment in landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency approximates that the textile recycling industry recycles nearly 3.8 billion pounds of textile waste each year, leaving 85% in U.S. landfills. Although, many people are unaware that their old garments can be used in a different way. So instead of throwing clothing out, they can be repurposed through recycling.

H&M stores across the country, including Westmoreland mall, offer a garment recycling system that many people are not aware of. By bringing in a collection of old clothing, an in-store voucher can be received.

  • Any brand of clothing
  • Any condition                                             
  • Any bag size

When the clothing is collected from the store they are either re-sold or processed into other valuable products. The materials can be processed and then utilized into objects like cleaning cloths and insulation. An old sweater can become apart of an insulation that keeps an entire family warm for the winter.

Since the average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually according to the EPA. H&M’s garment recycling is an innovative step towards a more sustainable future.

This illustration done by Sheila Shayon showcases the cycle of old textiles to new products through the process of recycling.