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What To Do With Tattered Socks, Tees & Underwear


Many knitted woolen socks on the counter. Vintage toned photo with filter effect

If your underwear, tee and sock drawers are overflowing with items that make you cringe, it is time for a purge. If you’re a person who doesn’t want to “waste” items just because they are in bad shape, I have good news for you. Underwear, tees, socks and bras can be discarded in a green fashion.

If your items are in decent shape – not stretched out, not tattered and not stained – you can donate them. Of course, please make sure the items are clean and dry. Goodwill and Salvation Army will take your donated items for resale. I recently learned from Sharon Summer, the Donation Coordinator, for Mers Goodwill (our local Goodwill organization) that the Environment Protection Agency estimates 85% of discarded textiles end up in landfill! Goodwill and Salvation Army will send unsold items to recycling to keep them out of the landfill. Textile recycling gives your worn out clothing a new life as insulation and upholstery. Holy karma!

It is at this point that I expect a crafty person to raise her hand and pipe up with an idea to transform a bra into a lovely evening bag or a sock into an adorable puppet. Crafts are great, if you do indeed actively craft. However, if your craft bin is overflowing with “when-I-get-around-to-it” items, liberate yourself and discard the items. In the event your craft bin dwindles to empty, there will probably be another holey sock or stretched out bra in your drawers to satisfy your creative crafty desires. After all, these items wear out on a regular basis.

There are a couple other options for discarding your worn-out underwear, tees, socks and bras. USAgain, a non-profit that collects items for resale and textile recycling, has drop-off bins in many neighborhoods. Free The Girls collects gently used bras and uses them to help women who have been rescued from human trafficking earn an income in a safe environment. Check out their website for a drop-off point near you.

De-cluttering your drawers gives you space and ease of access to your things. Donating your items keeps them out of the landfill and provides someone with a job, clothing, and insulation. Karma.