If you’re anything like me, your closet is packed to the brim. Some of your clothes may even be from 10 or even 20 years ago, and they may either be falling apart, or might not have been touched since your high school or college years.
Perhaps after your recent closet clean-out, you finally decided to get rid of those trusty denim jeans that got you through your first job… But instead of tossing them or donating them, you might want to consider recycling them at your favorite stores. Stores will either repurpose them into other items (purses, jackets, wallets, etc.) or recycle the fabric for future use in other products. When you recycle, not only are you keeping clothes out of landfills, you’ll also be getting a discount at your favorite stores.
So, where to turn for your credits or cash back?
Blue Jeans Go Green
Blue Jeans Go Green is the largest denim recycling program in the country, which is part of Cotton, Inc. They’ve partnered with many retailers across the country that take your denim and turn it into something new. You can follow the hashtag #BlueJeansGoGreen for inspiration or to find a retailer.
The below retailers have the following deals going on until December 31st of 2022, so make sure you take a look through your closet before then.
- American Eagle: Recycle any old pair of jeans to AE in-store and receive $10 toward a new pair of AE jeans. And, if you are a Real Rewards member, you will earn 2x the points.
- Frank And Oak: By recycling an old pair of jeans at your nearest Frank And Oak, you will get 15% off your next purchase of a new pair of jeans from F&O.
- Just Black Denim: If you order a prepaid mailer, you can mail your “pre-loved” denim and get a 15% discount on a new Just Black Denim pair.
- Ariat: Dropping your “well-worn” jeans at your closest Ariat store will get you $10 off a new pair!
- Madewell: Drop off your denim any time of the year at whichever Madewell location is most convenient, and you will receive $20 off a new pair of jeans.
- Pacsun: When you recycle “any old pair of jeans” that has 90% cotton or more at your nearest PacSun, you get $10 off a new pair of PacSun jeans.
- rag & bone: Drop off your denim to a rag & bone store to receive 25% off your entire denim purchase the same day.
There are many other retailers that support and partner with Cotton, Inc. for this program — take a look on their website to find all the affiliated shops.
Also, while we’re on the topic of recycling jeans, what about other clothing?
No one thinks about recycling or donating underwear. (Ew, right?) But Knickey, a company that makes organic underwear and more, is breaking down that stigma as they lead old undies away from the landfill and into their recycling program. This recycling program doesn’t turn your “ready-to-retire” undies into new undies, rather, it will be made into new materials such as insulation, carpet padding and furniture batting. They will gladly accept your other intimates too like bras, socks and tights. Not only will you be recycling, but you will also get a free pair of Knickey’s organic cotton undies too on your next order!
Another store breaking down the stigma of not donating your intimates is Harper Wilde, a bra company with the slogan “Bra Shopping without the B.S.” They hate the idea of your bras piling up at a landfill too, which is why they made the industry’s first bra recycling program: Recycle, Bra. Whenever you order a Harper Wilde sustainable bra, inside each order includes a Recycling Kit to put all your well-loved bras and underwear inside. Go on their website to get the free return label, then send it off at the most convenient USPS. Once received, HW will send materials to be upcycled into yarns and fabrics or downcycled to fill stock or padding. While you won’t receive a discount, you can now easily recycle without the hassle and you can feel good about your contribution to the planet.
Sweaters! I have tons of sweaters that I’ve felt I needed for every occasion, yet I rarely wear half of them due to texture issues or snags. If you’re feeling something similar, take a look at Love Woolies, which wants all your sweaters, whether they’re filled with holes, snags, stains, or are just plain ugly. They will wash your loved sweaters, shrink them, cut them up and give each piece a purpose. Love Woolies accepts sweaters with 70% minimum wool, Merino wool and Cashmere. When sending your sweaters, include your name and email address to the given address, and they will send you a Thank you Gift Card to Love Woolies that you can put toward a new item.
“Re-Spun” is Marine Layer’s t-shirt recycling program that gives back to the planet — and to you. When you recycle one shirt, you get $5. For each additional t-shirt, you get $5 more up until $25. You can redeem the credit that day, or receive a code to use later. The t-shirt you give can be any kind of brand or condition, but not every material. Marine Layer asks that you don’t send activewear fabric as it is tough to break the stretchy spandex down. However, they recommend using it as a rag to dry dishes as they say it works like magic. You can send the t-shirts via mail or bring them to the nearest ML store, as each one has a drop-off mailbox. Also, the recycling kits come with prepaid mailers so there’s no upcharge for you.
Read More On HerMoney:
- How to Avoid Fast Fashion, Saving the Planet + Your Wallet
- The Ultimate Guide To Smart Fashion
- Six Trends In Sustainable Fashion To Watch In 2022
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