This category includes things made with fabric as well as shoes. We take stuff that's in good enough shape to be reused and stuff that isn't! As long as it’s not wet, mildewed, or covered in hazardous materials it can be reused or recycled!
Fortunately, not very much! 95% of threads people throw out can avoid the landfill. Only a few categories cannot be reused or recycled.
Mildewed and moldy
#60 denim or cotton insulation
The average American trashes 65 pounds of old clothing each year and nearly all of it could be reused or recycled!
This category, sometimes called ‘threads’ also includes shoes, towels, sheets, and other fabric materials.
Each customer will receive a dedicated bag for all of their threads. We work with partners who will make sure they get to a better place than a landfill (or the back of your closet!)
We work with partners who will sort threads based on their condition.
45% of the clothes, shoes, and linens that get collected is reused or repurposed as secondhand clothing. When possible these items are kept locally or domestically supporting local communities. Some items are also sent overseas to communities that cannot afford to purchase items firsthand.
30% of what is collected is recycled and converted into new things considered wiping rags. This material is used as absorbent materials for various industries and residential uses.
20% is turned into fiber that can be used for carpet padding, home insulation, and raw material for automotive industries.
5% is sent to landfills.
In the last 100 years, Goodwill services have changed to respond to the needs of the times. They began by helping people with disabilities and disadvantages repair donated items. They helped connect neighbors with basic services during the Great Depression and were proud to provide training and jobs to wounded soldiers coming back from World War II. They trained people on computers when technology became part of the American workforce, and during recessions they have been instrumental in connecting people to jobs.
Today, we work with Goodwill to ensure that your clothes, shoes, and other textiles get reused or recycled.
Buffalo Export is based in Seattle, WA and has been family-owned and operated since 1929. They sort, redistribute and sell used but re-wearable clothing and shoes, as well as mixed rags (destined to be used as wiping rags or industrial stuffing for insulation, car seats, and more), throughout North America and the world. Buffalo Export is a member of the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART). SMART promotes high standards and best practices for domestic and international reuse and recycling of textiles and related secondary materials. SMART members reduce solid waste by collecting and reclaiming, and “close the loop” by processing, reusing, converting, and distributing textiles. Buffalo works with many organizations, such as thrift stores and charities, to help divert recyclable materials from the waste stream.