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SMART Works to Combat Textile Waste this Holiday Season

SMART is encouraging consumers to donate and recycle rather than toss their old clothes, bed linens, drapes, bath towels and stuffed animals.

This holiday season, the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) is encouraging consumers to donate and recycle rather than toss their old clothes, bed linens, drapes, bath towels and stuffed animals.

SMART member Bank & Vogue Ltd has collection locations across Canada and the U.S., where consumers can drop off clean, soft toys and stuffed animals to be sent to Central America to be sold at thrift stores and sent to a new home with a child. In the past two years, Bank & Vogue Ltd has recycled approximately 1,400,000 pounds of toys.

“We’re proud to support SMART in promoting textile recycling this holiday season,” says Steven Bethell, president of Bank & Vogue Ltd, in a statement. “Our goal is to provide creative ideas and solutions to help deal with the overwhelming amount of ‘stuff’ we all consume, particularly at this time of year!”

In addition to stuffed animals, nearly 100 percent of donated textiles are reused and recycled into three grades: usable clothing, fiber conversion grade and wiping cloth grade. This means a sock can be transformed into pillow stuffing, old denim into household insulation and an old towel into a wiping rag. Any clothing, household textile or commercial linen textile, as long as it is dry and has no odor, can be reused and recycled. Even if the item is stained, torn, overly worn or out-of-date, do not throw it away; it has a use in the textile recycling industry. Only items that are wet (mildewed) or have been used with a solvent-type liquid (gasoline, Goof Off, etc.) cannot be recycled.

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