clothing not garbage

We are so used to recycling everyday household items, but what the heck do we do with clothing? That’s simple: recycle your garments!

It is easy to toss outfits in the garbage, but let’s think green and recycle our textiles. If you live in the New York City area, Wearable Collections is the textile recycling program you are looking for. The company is all about making clothing recycling accessible for New York residents. Wearable Collections provides recycling bins for apartment buildings, where tenants can simply place their clothes. This way, residents do not have to haul clothing to a recycling center or another location. It is all about convenience. So far, more than 200 residential buildings are taking advantage of Wearable Collections. We were lucky enough to get in contact with the company’s CEO, Adam Baruchowitz, and why he shared some thoughts on the importance of Wearable Collections. “I think there are several reasons why Wearable Collections is important,” Baruchowitz says, “one of them being that we came up with a local solution for a not so tiny locale. We, as New Yorkers, understand the problems with waste — more specifically the issues disposing of textiles — and came up with a solution that is both convenient and efficient, both very necessary to New Yorkers. “Another thing we have done is brought transparency and some modernity to a very old industry,” Baruchowitz continues. “This is something that is important for every industry, and something that was sorely missing in the world of clothing donations. The final thing, and one that I am very proud of, is raising the consciousness of the value of items in our waste stream. I don’t think we are alone in this, but clothing is a very clear example of what can be reused. I think people get it right away. It doesn’t make sense to throw away items that people can reuse. This same thinking translates into many other materials in our waste stream.” Not only does the organization believe in diverting textiles from landfills, but it also believes in raising money for charities. It is all about hosting clothing drives to promote organizations, strengthen communities and raise funds. The organization even pays you for the clothing drive by purchasing every piece of clothing, shoes, sheets, towels, etc. donated. Wearable Collections’ official website states, “According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the clothing recycling industry prevents 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile waste from entering the solid waste stream each year. Charities play a crucial role in the success of the industry, collecting clothing that might otherwise be headed to a landfill.” The organization can only do so much at once, so in an attempt to access most New Yorkers, Wearable Collections has partnered with GrowNYC, a hands-on nonprofit focused on improving New York’s environment. Through GrowNYC’s Greenmarkets, Wearable Collections is able to collect more clothing, and offer more options for those looking to donate and recycle textiles. Here is a complete schedule and list of locations. Baruchowitz is not looking to expand the company any time soon, since he says “there is so much work to do here in the NYC metro area,” but Wearable Collections is working on expanding in terms of another division. “We are very close to launching a shoe recycling division of Wearable Collections that will be called Walkable Collections,” Baruchowitz reveals. “There are certain components of this business that make more sense on an economical and ecological basis that will allow us to take it national. We are very excited to bring our services to wider range of people.” New Yorkers: If you are interested in integrating Wearable Collections textile recycling program into your apartment building, click here to learn how.