Here is a guide to make the best use of your castoffs:

Are you sure you won’t wear it?

Does it just need repaired/mended? Altered? If minor fixes might make it worthy of your closet space, check out our list of local seamstresses and tailors (www.SBnbpt.com/sewing-and-mending)

This is an important first step as a citizen of planet. Fun (sad!) fact – according to textile recyclers in India, Americans can’t afford water and thus only wear clothes a couple of times then throw them away (This is the final resting place of your cast-off clothing | Aeon Videos – 4.20 minute mark). Further, while donating your textiles is far better than putting them in the trash, donations to developing nations are not without unintended negative consequences. Our castoffs are undermining nascent cloth and clothing industries.

I just don’t want it anymore!

For items still wearable – re-use at highest purpose with minimum transport:

  1. Consignment – Earn cash!
    • Women’s
      • Pandora’s Box – 141 Bridge Road, Salisbury
      • Gentry’s – The Tannery, Newburyport
    • Men’s
      • A Little Bit of Naples – The Tannery, Newburyport
      • Gentry’s – The Tannery, Newburyport
    • Children’s
      • Children’s Orchard – Shaw’s Plaza
    • Online – Poshmark, etc.
  2. Thrift stores in the area – get a tax deduction!
  3. Charitable organizations – get a tax deduction!
    • Community Giving Tree – children’s clothing and other items, 3rd Saturday of every month in Cushing Park
    • Community Action Inc. – men and children – 44A Friend Street, Amesbury
    • Goodwill – 720 Lafayette Rd, Portsmouth, NH 03801
    • Savers – 2064 Woodbury Ave, Newington
  4. For sheets, blankets, comforters, towels, etc., check with local animal shelters and rescue groups as they are always in need of these items to keep their homeless charges as comfortable as possible!

For items non-wearable (and no mildew or grease — but stains and rips are totally fine!):

Take Back programs

Local donation bins

  • Not all bins are created equal! Some are for-profit and some are not, but more importantly from a sustainability standpoint is the organization’s effort to sort donations and use at the highest utility as close to collection points as possible. We highly recommend the blue HELPSY bin at the Newburyport Recycling Center as they are a certified B Corp (Benefit Corporation), committed to much more than just shipping off containers of used clothing.

BUT ANY container is better than trash (and again, NEVER in curbside recycling!)

Questions? Clarifications needed? Send us an email (TowardZeroWasteNewburyport@outlook.com) ! We are always here to help!

And please remember – NEVER ever put any type of textile in curbside recycling! They tangle in the sorting machinery, cause delays, damage to equipment, and endanger the workers!

Interested in the How and Why regarding textile recycling? Click here for a informative FAQ.