Clothing Recycling: Economic Opportunity and Environmental Impact


International fashion designer Stella McCartney sums it up nicely:  “Only 1% of clothing is recycled. What are we doing?”

According to the Guardian, a survey of 2000 British women found that the average piece of clothing was worn just seven times before being thrown away.  Most discarded clothing winds up in landfills instead of being resold, donated, or repurposed. Full article here. That’s the bad news. The good news is that this landscape presents a tremendous opportunity for enterprising individuals to tap this market, making a significant impact both environmentally and economically.

There are a number of ways to approach the business, but all begin with quality collection bins.

CSC provides state of the art, top quality, user-friendly bins with generous financing terms. CSC bins have a variety of safety and quality features, industry-leading durability records, and can be custom branded. The advantageous credit terms enable small start-ups to launch with minimal risk and maximum protection from market fluctuations and interest rate volatility.

Experts agree that placing the bins in prime locations is a key to success; schools, churches, apartment building common areas, and other high traffic public spaces makes drop off convenient and encourages high volume donations.

Clothing collection professionals often combine for-profit and not-for-profit arrangements, partnering with a charity to operate the business.

Charities may benefit in several ways:

  • They engage their stakeholders in the collections process, which unifies and motivates the group toward its mission
  • They receive clothing donations to distribute to their constituents or the identified target of their mission (eg homeless families, disaster victims).
  • They also may receive payment for the clothing from the bin owners—this is a per pound fee that operators pay to the group that conducts the clothing collections.
  • They do not incur any real cost.

The bin owners benefit as well:

  • They maintain a steady inventory of clothing collections.
  • They have the option to donate, sell by the pound or by the item to thrift, second hand, and vintage clothing stores.
  • They have the option to sell by the pound to overseas customers
  • They may receive a tax advantage by partnering with a charity and providing legitimate donations.

In some cases, charities operate the bins directly; this is where CSC’s generous financing is of great value. For as little as $17 per month, CSC can provide a bin to help organizations and individuals begin the collections process, and begin seeing profits immediately.

Ready to get started?  We are standing by to help!