Keep Unwanted Clothing Out of the Landfill — How to Reduce Your Textile Waste

textile waste

“Fast fashion” makes it easy — and affordable — to keep up with the latest style trends, but it also means a proliferation of textiles end up in the waste stream. One of the worst ramifications: Plastic microfibers from synthetic fabrics contaminate our oceans, harming marine ecosystems. According to the 2014 California Solid Waste Characterization Study, 5.5% of what Marin County residents dispose of each year is categorized as textiles. And typically, clothing isn’t accepted in curbside recycling containers. So, how should you keep unwanted clothing out of landfill? Follow these tips from Zero Waste Marin, which aims to eliminate waste in Marin County by encouraging residents and businesses to prioritize sustainable lifestyles. 


Sell clothing in good condition that you no longer need at a local consignment store. Options in Marin County include The RealReal, Diamonds in the Rough and Knimble, along with Play It Again Kids for children’s clothing.


Donate unwanted clothing to a local charitable organization such as Hospice Hodgepodge, Bloom Marin, Salvation Army, Goodwill Thrift Stores or the Marin Humane Thrift Store. You can also drop off clothing you don’t need any more at one of the Us Again or Recycle for Change bins in the county, many of which are located in malls such as the Village at Corte Madera and the Northgate mall in San Rafael.

Give it away

Five it away for free on, Facebook Marketplace or a local “Buy Nothing” group on Facebook.

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Lotus Abrams

Lotus Abrams has covered everything from beauty to business to tech in her editorial career, but it might be writing about her native Bay Area that inspires her most. She lives with her husband and two daughters in the San Francisco Peninsula, where they enjoy spending time outdoors at the area’s many open spaces protected and preserved by her favorite local nonprofit, the Peninsula Open Space Trust.