Frequently Asked Questions
photo credit Ryan D Matzner An article came across my feed this weekend which caught my attention. It is understandable if you missed it amongst the whirlwind of news activity during these unsettling times. This article described an encounter one gentleman named...
Why should I recycle clothing, shoes and home linens for reuse?
Many people would be surprised to find out that clothing and textile waste takes up around 5 % of our municipal waste stream, or 22 Billion lbs annually. Of these items 95% can be re-used in one way or another, whether it is re-used as second hand clothing, rags or for low-grade fiber products. Reusing clothing is a way to preserve natural resources, and save municipalities the cost of dumping useful items.
What types of items does Wearable Collections accept?
Wearable Collections accepts all used clean clothing including shoes, sneakers and hats. We also accept household items such as linens, towels, handbags and belts.
We do not accept carpeting, rugs, bath mats, comforters, pillows, large luggage or scraps of any kind.
Remember Reuse! Please only include gently used , undamaged, usable items
What happens to the clothing and textiles that are donated?
The clothing is brought to a facility where it is sorted into different grades: re-usable as second hand clothing, wiping rags, and scrap that will be shredded for low grade fiber products. The second hand clothing will be shipped to emerging markets throughout the world, where it provides access to affordable and stylish fashion.
Is Wearable Collections a nonprofit organization?
Wearable Collections is a for-profit organization that serves as an agent for non-profit organizations. Something we are extremely proud of. We have been focused on creating a sustainable company not only environmentally, but also economically. As part of our model we handle all the logisitcs of the clothing collections and dedicate a portion of the proceeds to our charitable partners. We see this as a successful model and one that has led to a decades worth of innovation and diverting of nearly 15 million lbs of clothing, shoes and home linens from landfills. We are driven to provide convenient clothing collections as we see convenience as the main factor in whether these items end up in the wastestream and are dedicated to creating collection points that fit each communies needs. All the while creating local jobs and educating the public with our creative campaigns.
Why do you focus on Reuse while calling it Recycling?
It is important for people to understand that there is someone, somewhere in the world who will reuse the items they bring in for collections. ReUse as second hand is what drives the whole clothing and shoe recycling industry. ReUse is the best option as it doesnt require any energy other than connecting the dots via transportation. The secondhand clothing industry is very sophisticated supplying necessary, stylish clothing to people all around the world at affordable prices. We will try best to make use of whatever we collect but we need to continue to focus on what there is a demand for worldwide.
Is my donation tax deductible?
No, sorry we do not provide receipts for the NYC home pick ups since we are not a non-for-profit organization. However, our relationship with the GrowNYC enables us to hand out tax deductible receipts at the 31 weekly greenmarket locations in which we collect textiles.
Is all the clothing recycled?
Our recycling rates are very consistent with the industry standard.
According to SMART (Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles), industry standard is the following:
- 45% is used as apparel which is exported to developing nations, where demand for secondhand clothing is particularly high
- 30% of recovered textiles become wiping rags for commercial and industrial purposes
- 20% is reprocessed into fibers for furniture stuffing, upholstery, insulation, sound proofing, carpet padding, building and other materials
- 5% is unusable and not fit for recycling
Does the Wearable Collections program exist only in NYC?
NO! We have done collections as far away as Boston and Washington DC.
There is no limit to how far we can host a collection. The caveat is that in order to travel certain distances, the amount of clothing required for pick-up must reach a minimum. Contact us to find out what the minimum is for your area.
What charities/organizations benefit from Wearable Collections?
Since our inception it has been built in to our model to dedicate a portion of our proceeds to partner charities. We are committed to building stronger communities through this support. In the past we have worked with organizations such as The Miami Project To Cure Paralysis, GrowNYC, Habitat For Humanity, Bottomless Closet, Career Gear, Room To Grow, Columbia Community Service, Broadway Green Alliance, Project Open, and dozens others. We have also made it possible for buildings to choose a nonprofit to receive their proceeds and have worked with hundreds of schools and universities to help them raise funds through the collection of clothes and shoes.
What are the costs of implementing a clothing recycling program in my building?
Absolutely none! Wearable Collections will provide you with a clothing recycling bin, and then implement our weekly service, all for FREE!
Will Wearable Collections come to my home for a pick up?
- Manahattan — 5 bags
- Brooklyn — 15 bags
- Queens, Bronx and Staten Island — 40 bags
We don’t mean to discriminate. This simply reflects the frequency in which we operate in each area. If you yourself can’t come up with the yield, perhaps you can ask some neighbors. They too, may appreciate our service.
Also, we throw events often in each borough so sign up for our newsletter or follow us on facebook and twitter to keep track of when we will be in your area.
Do you have any drop-off locations in NYC?
YES! We are now collecting used clothing and textiles at 26 weekly greenmarket locations in partnership with GrowNYC. Your donations helps to support GrowNYC’s environmental and greeening programs. Click here for the full schedule and location information. You can also sign up for GrowNYC’s newsletter here and get updates on our special one-day collections.