Over the years, I've really embraced tidying up Marie Kondo style but I didn't learn how destructive textile waste is for our environment until recently. Apparently the apparel industry is the second-largest industrial polluter in the world and clothes release toxic gas when then decompose in the landfill [source].
So of course we all know that we can donate our out-of-date but still wearable clothes to your local thrift shop, Goodwill, or Salvation Army. But what to do with old underwear, ripped t-shirts, and used rags?
Check out if your municipal landfill has textile recycling drop off bins. I've lived here 9 years and didn't even know this existed in my county so definitely do a google search before tossing stuff in the trash.
Check out your local grocery store for recycle bins. By me, Safeway and Whole Foods recycle plastic bags and natural cork. And our favorite grocery store in the DC area recycles shoes, glasses, batteries, and even has seasonal recycle campaigns for jeans and Christmas lights.
If these aren't options for you, call up the Thrift store, Goodwill, or Salvation Army and see if they recycle clothes that they don't end up putting out for sale.
I appreciate some apparel places like North Face, H&M, and Madewell that take back or buy back clothes but I'll be honest... it's easier for me to just donate it locally or recycle it at the dump.
Hope this is helpful for all my planet-conscious friends out there cleaning out your homes in support of a life of less physical and emotional baggage!