JULY 8, 2015 BY 

submitted by Molly at DejaVu

Fleece, flannel, corduroy, cotton, nylon, denim, wool, and linen. What can you do with these fibers when you’re finished wearing them, sleeping on them, or draping them over your windows?  There are many ways to donate, upcycle, or reuse textiles, materials, and clothing that can benefit both your community and the environment. Most recovered household textiles end up at small organizations and businesses, which sell or donate the majority of these products – ie reuse. After reuse the remainder go to either a textile recovery facility or incinerator, or the landfill. EPA currently does not have an estimate for the amount of textiles reused, however they do have stats on waste:

  • The average person throws away 70 pounds of clothing per year. That adds up to 3.8 billion pounds of unnecessary waste added to our landfills.
  • An estimated 12.4 million tons of footware, clothing, and other non-durable textiles were generated in 2013, or 4.9 percent of total municipal solid waste (MSW) generation.
  • An estimated 14.4 percent of textiles in clothing and footwear and 18.0 percent of items such as sheets and pillowcases was recovered for export or reprocessing in 2013.
  • The recovery rate (does not include reuse) for all footware, clothing, and other non-durable textiles was 14.8 percent in 2013, 1.8 million tons.

One way to help reduce this waste is to bring it to Deja Vu, one of Steamboat Springs’ clothing resale stores which recycles used clothing and accessories. Since opening in 2008, Deja Vu has consigned clothes for 3800 people. Every item they take in is either sold or donated, and nearly 100% of the items taken in have been recycled.

Deja Vu is new sponsor of the Yampa Valley Recycles program, and is currently seeking new employees who are passionate about recycling. Visit their website at www.dejavusteamboat.com or stop by 624 Lincoln Ave. to  learn more or to apply.