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Why Recycle Clothes?

There are piles of reasons to recycle your used clothing, shoes, belts, handbags and stuffed animals. Not the least of which are the mountains of discarded garments that end up in America’s landfills each and every year. Clothing that can take hundreds of years to decompose. It’s an alarming situation that’s growing bigger and uglier every day.  

The Bad News

As big a problem as landfills are they’re only part of the problem.  When clothing isn’t recycled, it means more and more has to be produced and that means more and more pollution for all of us.

Take cotton. The production of cotton destroys farmland and pollutes waterways. In fact, 22.5% of all agricultural insecticides and 10% of all pesticides used each year go into cotton farming.  It may be hard to believe, but the production of just one cotton t-shirt requires one-third of a pound of pesticides. Yikes!

What’s more, pesticides enter our ground water and streams affecting birds, bees, animals, the farm workers who have to work with them and eventually all of us.

Just as bad, the dyes, most of which contain heavy metals, are known to be harmful as well.

Think that’s all?  It’s not.

Synthetic polyesters and nylon aren’t any better or safer. They’re made from petrochemicals, a byproduct of oil refining which increases our need and reliance on oil and increases harmful pollution which affects us all.

The Good News

You and your t-shirt can make a difference.

When you recycle, you conserve raw materials and natural resources. That means less has to be extracted, refined, transported and processed which lightens the load on Mother Earth. You also conserve the energy that’s needed in the manufacturing process. Less energy used means less needs to be generated, resulting in smaller carbon footprints and less greenhouse gases and emissions.

There’s another side to clothing recycling that’s equally as good. And that’s helping to provide the millions of poor in third world countries with usable clothing they may not otherwise be able to afford. Members of our industry can deliver a clean pair of damage-free pants to an underprivileged person in Africa for as little as .34 cents a pair. A warm sweater can find its way to someone who’s cold in Pakistan for about .12 cents. And that includes the transportation costs of getting it there. (Source: Council for Textile Recycling).

When you recycle your old clothing with MAC Recycling, what you no longer want can be something someone else desperately needs.  It really is a win-win for everyone on both sides of the recycling cycle and can go a long way to making the world a better place for all of us across the globe.

 

 

 

 

 

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