How To Recycle Your Old Clothes | One Small Step | NowThis

How To Recycle Your Old Clothes | One Small Step | NowThis


I’m Lucy Biggers and this is One Small Step In my mission to figure out what to do
with my old clothes I’ve decided to clean out my closet. Time for me to figure out what I should get rid
of and what I should keep. I’m bringing these old clothes to a thrift store because that way I know whatever they buy
is more likely to be reused. According to ThredUP, the clothing
and apparel resale market is a 20 billion dollar industry. If don’t have access to a thrift store you
can resell your clothes online at sites like eBay, Poshmark, and ThredUp. Today I’m at Beacon’s Closet a thrift shop in Brooklyn. They carry everything
from vintage to the latest styles all of it purchase secondhand. On average 150 people sell their clothes
here every day This is Leah Giampietro. She’s been
working at Beacon’s for 10 years. She’s a manager and a buyer who’s going to use
her expert eye to decide if any of my clothes are worthy of their shelves. Anything she buys will be marked down to
20-30% of the original price. Before we get into my clothes I’m
curious to know what do you look for when you’re buying clothes? What we look for first and foremost is the style whatever is currently on trend, and the
condition of the items. As well as, how stocked we are in different categories. But I would say yeah style first and foremost. Okay well, And what about fast fashion? I know we have so much of that now is that something that you guys are challenged by? We can’t often take too much of it in just
because it’s so readily available out there at low prices. We can’t price them even less than what
they retailed out to begin with. Now for the moment of truth. In the end Leah bought 13 of my items
and rejected 33. Yay I made some money. Let’s calculate how much I made. So our retail
value that we have here is That’s what we’re gonna sell everything
for in the store. So 35% of that is your cash option. You made a lot more than you thought
you were going to. If you wanted store credit you have
the option of taking I decided to take the
store credit so that I can shop the used clothing in the store and save the natural resources
it takes to make new clothes. The next step is really to
figure out what to do with the clothes that weren’t good enough for them to buy
where do I donate these guys? Hey guys! This is Adam Baruchowitz. He is the founder and CEO
of wearable collections. According to Adam his company has diverted
nearly 20 million pounds of clothing from landfills since 2004. They run Today we’re meeting at his warehouse in
Greenpoint where the floor is literally covered with bags of clothing. People feel very comfortable bringing
their bags of clothing to my door, and saying ‘since you’re a clothing recycler!’ What type of clothing are you accepting just literally everything? Yeah, we accept anything but the industry standard is that about So we need to stay within
those industry standards in order to be sustainable business. We’re a for-profit
that dedicates a portion of our proceeds to our partner charities. So when we do a drive with a school we dedicate a portion of the proceeds to
them. And do you ever get pushback, when people think oh I’m donating
my clothes why is it not going to a nonprofit? Some people think the charity
genie comes but really the money that can be generated from the sale of the
clothes is what helps the organizations and the charities, And it turns out that roughly What I know is it goes to a
sorting facility they’re gonna process it. They’re gonna reuse as much as possible
and simply because and they want to make use of this good for as much as they possibly can make use of this good. My bags are empty. We’re taking this truck to
a sorting facility in New Jersey. Look at how many clothes are in this warehouse. For the sorting facility clothing is a commodity. Adam says they buy clothes at about and then they try to resell it for a higher price. When clothes like Adams arrive at the
warehouse they get Then they get compressed into one thousand pound
pallets and are shipped to buyers. It’s so crazy because there’s so many people
working in this warehouse right now. I’ve seen like 30-40 people working and to
think that all these clothes could have just gone to the dump and be sitting
in the ground forever but instead they’re creating all these jobs
and all this industry is a really interesting perspective. There’s a whole other room down here. Is this seriously polo? The sheer scale of the clothes at this one sorting facility is pretty shocking. It’s obvious we are consuming
a lot of clothes in the US and one of the reasons for this mass
consumption is fast fashion. These are cheap brands with short seasons like
popular retailers H&M, Forever 21 and Zara they create tens of thousands of
affordable styles per year which is why they’re so easy to shop. I decided to reach out to H&M rep
Patrick Shaner to see what they’re doing to address our
waste problem. H&M started our garment collecting program worldwide in 2013 and
so basically how it works is we have these beautiful boxes our garment
collecting boxes and these are in every H&M store around the world which is 71
countries right now. It can be any brand of clothing, it can be bed sheets, it can be
one sock that you lost in the laundry. We just say bring it all. By 2030 everything you buy an H&M
will be made from more sustainably sourced materials. But that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the astronomical amount of new clothes
they produce each year. This is realy great but is this enough to offset just
how much you guys create? Sure ya, I mean definitely an issue but that’s why
along with this at the consumer level and kind of teaching people to be in a
more circular mindset when they’re thinking of their clothes those are
really where we’re going. Making this video has made me realize donating and
recycling our old clothes is very complicated. Seeing that huge warehouse of our used clothing and understanding that foreign
countries don’t even want our clothing, made me aware that we’re over consuming
and it’s having real consequences. And even though recycling isn’t perfect it’s still better than sending
your clothes to the dump. And if those aren’t near you take advantage of recycling programs offered by companies
like H&M. Or try this hack visit give All you do is you take an old box fill it
with used clothing, print out a prepaid shipping
label from their website, bring it to your post office and voila your
donations will be shipped for free. It’s clear to me that the clothing industry
has a lot of issues around sustainability. It is ripe for innovation on so many levels and that’s a whole other video that I am looking
forward to making. Thank you so much for watching this episode of One Small Step
I hope it was as enlightening for you as it was for me. If you liked it please share it and
we’ll see you next time, bye! So I went back to Beacon’s Closet and I
got all of these clothes with my credit Three dresses, three shirt, and
a pair of pants.

56 thoughts on “How To Recycle Your Old Clothes | One Small Step | NowThis

  1. Wow! That's a looooot if clothes!
    I couldn't afford to buy one shirt if I can borrow one from my sisters.
    How I wish you could send them down here.
    We do use clothes here until they're torn apart. 😄
    Literally, because of the warm weather.

  2. I found out synthetic fibers produces so many microplastic particles and try not to buy the clothes made of them, but it is not so easy. I understand there are many cases for which those synthetic fibers are absolutled required and necessary, so I hope the fashion-indusrty focuses on using natural fibers than synthetic ones, even more.

  3. Those tons of clothes that are compressed are sold to delevoping countries like ours, Philippines. Here it's called ukay-ukay and usually sold at more or less a dollar. A great option to those who doesn't have budget to buy clothes at the mall or botique or those who just don't want to spend much on a piece of clothing.

  4. This is great! My dad always used old clothes as rags for cleaning. I do it as well. Anything not torn or stained gets given to others for free. I especially donate to groups sending clothing to disaster areas. My husband put some cash and a quick note in a tiny inside pocket of a suit and sent it with a church group taking clothing and household items for people after Katrina. I hope whoever found it needed it.

  5. Or how about just consuming less?
    Just less. Not that you should not consume at all, but: why 100 shirts and 20 pairs of shoes?
    How about less?

  6. US people should STOP wasting so much $ in clothes/shoes etc and SAVE…nobody has $$ but the waste it all…..my kids included, grandkids must be doing same…I am cheap

  7. My weight goes up & down due to health reasons so I do buy more often than I’d like. Also many of the clothes made today are not of good quality and do not last. I’m a thrifter, I don’t purchase new clothes. It’s sad that most clothes are not given to the poor but another industry has been birthed out of our kindness to donate. I give hoping that someone in need will get use out of it. Our clothing is now being shipped to other countries.

  8. توجد ترجمة إنجليزية .. ولكن لاتوجد ترجمة عربية !! لم أفهم شيئا ولم أستفد من قناتكم . ءاسفة !!😡

  9. The problem with second hand/thrift clothing is that it depends on a cycle of clothing consumerism that is itself the underlying issue.

  10. People who always buy clothes actually lack of creativity. They do not know the possibility (and the fun!) of having 16 looks just by mix match 6 items: 1 skirt, 1 pants, 1 short sleeves shirt, 1 long sleeves shirt, 1 jacket/vest, and 1 scarf. Go ahead, try it.. 😉

    Edit: I mean, minimum 16 looks.. 😊

  11. Hi I am from Trinidad. I am in the process of having a store to sell used clothing. I would love if clothing can b shipped to me at a minimal cost. Please is there a link that I can acquire such . Will appreciate it

  12. Great video! It's really important to bring awareness to this global issue. A good complementary documentary to watch is "The True Cost". Believe me, after watching it you will never step foot in H&M ever again and I used to visit this store like three times a month. Go thrift!

  13. I love this channel. It has made me realize how much waste I produce on a daily basis. It has inspired me to look at ways I can reduce my waste.

  14. Companies should offer discounts on their clothes (H&M, Forever 21..ect ) for items of clothing brought in for donation.
    This would make the incentives better and folks would bring donations when shopping instead of “coming back another time” which we all tend to not do given life . Then we forget and end up there again…

  15. I need this near my home I am in India, kolkata. I do suffer from these old clothes . There r no charity area near me. Plz make this available here in my country too.

  16. I don’t donate my clothes to thrifts to be resold . I donate for free to family in need . There’s a lady who has 4 girls . Her husband works while she cares for them they can’t afford to buy certain things or buy things alternatively like pay bills and rent and get 2 of the girls clothing shoes etc then later the other 2 girls . Now I know a lot of you will say well they shouldn’t have kids if they can’t afford it . Well true ; or maybe they where financially stable then who knows what happened either way I do not judge and the girls have no fault to their situation. So I donate my daughters clothes and shoes to them and they are so grateful 💜

  17. Wash them and then make it into a pillow for your pets/baby cause the pillow wud smell like u and can help keep them calm

  18. Idk but I find it wierd that the second hand clothing shop BUYS clothes off of u!!
    Here in the uk u send unwanted clothes and other objects to charity shops were they sell your old clothes to raise money for a charity 🙂
    The shops don't buy the clothes off of u, you just simply put clothes in a bag and give it to the shop 😀

  19. Why did she donate clothes, only to buy a whole bunch more? Granted they are second hand and so more ‘sustainable’ but the most sustainable option is to refuse in the first place. Seems to me that she had enough clothes already. I would’ve taken the cash.

  20. 🤦‍♀️ i was that girl …. i have tons of boxes with 100$ jeans, items with tags, shoes worn once 😫

    happy to say ive gone a yr without purchasing.

    this video came right on time… 13 boxes and 3 trash bags of gently worn clothes to donate and sell.

  21. Follow people like Annika so you can learn how to optimize thrift clothes into something uniquely for you. 😉 I am making leg warmers and beanies from sweaters.

  22. De veras que deben de aprender a vivir en una mediania, pa' que gastar tanto dinero en ropa que al rato ni usan, no aprenden a uno que cuido lo que tengo y uso las mismas blusas de hace 5 años (por cierto soy Mexicana)

  23. One can see the clothes hanging on clothes racks for sale…H&M, Zara, Target etc…look awful, the materials they are made from, is the recycled clothing you gave away to the same store.
    They in turn, sell it back to you in the current fashion trend.
    So you are buying back your clothes, just in a another style. Wow! what hypocrisy!

  24. I live in Chicago Schaumburg, can anyone tell me wr to donate. I don’t want to donate to savers they sell it for high price. N

  25. Honestly in my process of downsizing and minimizing, I’m being challenged to wear more of my clothes considering we tend to reach for the same ones over and over again or just buy new . My mind has been opened. I’m not shopping as much either and that feels great .

  26. Most people in India had a maximum of three pairs of clothes, two for daily use and one for any occasion.
    He was happy with this practice, but then fashion came and it was said that having less clothes is a sign of poverty, so now everyone's wardrobe is vomiting cups.

  27. Ok come on ladies if you’re not constantly buying new or used clothes you don’t care what you look like. I buy 90% of mine at thrift or consignment shop s. That’s not affecting the environment

  28. Hm recycling program is BS. They recycle only 1%, some of it sell to third world countries that don’t want these clothes coz they’re so bad, most of it is going nowhere- landfill.

  29. So what do you do with really worn out clothes that can't be donated? Someone throws them out..
    Eventually every item of clothing gets to this point of non usable within time.
    Clothes are also made much cheaper and thinner than ever before. they wear out faster.
    Especially WORK CLOTHES. That can't be donated. Figure that one out of what to do once it's not useable.. rags, bags, oil clean up towels, filter material and such doesn't account for every piece that will go into the landfill at some point in time.. 5yrs, 10yrs maybe 15yrs. The fibers that gets washed out into the waste water diring every wash cycle. But at some point you or someone will throw it out, it's to raggedy. Where's our top scientists? Lmao

  30. We could take our old clothes make projects out of them. Find away to reuse them. If everyone did that that be alot of clothes out of the landfill.

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