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Threadcycle: Damaged Clothes aren’t garbage anymore


In partnership with King County, the “Threadcycle” program aims to reduce an estimated 40,000 tons of clothes, shoes, linens and other textile-based items discarded as garbage annually to the Seattle and King County landfills. Changing this pattern could go far in supporting the city’s goal of recycling and composting 60 percent of its waste by 2015.

People are accustomed to donating ‘gently used’ items to thrift stores and collection bins. Some may not realize damaged clothes, linens, single shoes and socks can also be given.

Many collectors in our area take textiles that are torn and stained – as long as they aren’t wet, mildewed or contaminated with hazardous materials. In turn, these collectors sell them to be used in making new recycled products such as rags, carpet padding, and insulation materials for automobiles and appliances.

To decrease the amount of textiles that end up in landfills, the “Threadcycle” campaign is partnering with eight organizations and businesses to educate the public. A fact sheet with tips is available and more information is offered on the Threadcycle website.

Campaign supporters who accept clothes, shoes and linens in any condition include:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

Seattle Goodwill, Northwest Center

Salvation Army Family Thrift Stores


TexGreen, USAgain

Value Village


For Seattle residents and businesses, these items should not go into local curbside recycling carts because they can jam up machinery in traditional recycling facilities. Instead, donations should be made directly at the participating organizations listed above or at their collection bins.

Visit SPU’s Donate or Resell website to learn more about which items can be given, where and how to donate and what happens to these items.