Your torn sneakers can be recycled through Association for Textile Recycling (AFTeR)

I used to love when the Diabetes Association called looking for donations. It meant someone would be picking up the bags of stuff piled at our back door, helping us get rid of unnecessary items we had accumulated over the months.

Turns out Diabetes Association is part of a group called AFTeR which stands for Association for Textile Recycling. AFTeR currently consists of six member organizations who all accept clothing and other textile donations to raise money for various causes.

I had never heard of the organization until husby sent me the article last week. Though I have been donating my used clothing to charities such as Diabetes Association for Big Brothers, Big  Sisters for years, I didn’t know I could give them items that were not in good shape like ripped shirts, socks with holes and even worn footwear.

Here’s what the website says:

Many people think that our charities will only take items that someone else could wear. NOT TRUE!  Even the most tattered piece of cloth can be recycled.

Socks with holes, old boots, used dish towels, stained shirts, worn-out bed sheets, old sleeping bags, a single mitten, those polyester pants from 1970…We want them all!

My question is, how exactly do they recycle these items and where do they do it? It would be cool to know that my holey socks would be revived as a quilt for newborns or senior citizens or something like that.  That  information is missing from the website as well as- how much of these items are recycled and where does the excess end up?  I know a lot of used clothes end up overseas to be sold in markets. It provides an income for some but what of the excess there?

Personally, I am working on minimizing what I consume clothing wise. But for what I do have and want to get rid of, I’ll continue donating. Better they are reused and resold than ending up in the landfill in my backyard or anyone else’s.

I’m sure you’ve seen the donation bins in parking lots throughout your town or city, but if anyone is looking for one, there is a bin and store locator here.



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