These days, many businesses have resorted to contactless services. Your UberEats order can be left at your doorstep; you can order clothing from Nordstrom and have it arrive at your home the same day; you can even get plants delivered too. But, did you know you can also donate old clothes, help Houston non-profit organizations, and reduce textile waste from the comfort of your home?

ReUse Textile Recycling Services, a local clothing recycling center, offers contactless pick up of your old clothes and textile material (like bedding, or any kind of fabric). Founders Fazeel Lakhani and Zulfiqar Khandwala say they implemented this contactless option to make people feel comfortable amid the pandemic.

“It is a very attractive option and made very useful for donors' time sitting at home,” Lakhani explains. “It enabled us to use the time when everything was shut down and drop off sites at places like Goodwill and Salvation Army were closed to continue picking up donations.”

However they plan to still offer contactless donation pick up even once the pandemic ends.

How it works

Let’s say you’ve taken this extra time at home and, miraculously, you’ve used it to clean out your closet. Step one is done; great job, you’re already way ahead of most people. Step two: Head to ReUse’s website to sign up for a donation collection time, and choose the Houston charity of your choice.

Oh yeah, about that.

Pick a charity, and it’ll receive a portion of the funds made from each pound of clothing donated. Plus, ReUse will match those funds. This, Lakhani notes, is another benefit of ReUse’s contactless service.

“A lot of charities that we work with had to cancel their fundraising events because of the pandemic, and they were looking at other creative ways of raising funds,” Lakhani says. “When we told them, we could offer the contactless service and share what we collect, it was a win-win situation.”

The charities ReUse partners with include: The Rose, Daya Houston, Child AdvocatesPAIR Houston, Clothes By Faith, Conroe’s Crisis Assistant Center location, and Bayou City Art Festival.

ReUse donations being sold in New Guinea.

Moving on.

Step three: Collected donations are later settled into two groups. One group, “lower-tier donations,” are recycled into fibers and materials for industrial use, such as insulation. The “higher-tier donations” are shipped to communities in developing nations around the world, like Honduras, Mali, New Guinea, and Uganda, for example.

“When these bales of clothing reach these countries, retailers buy these bales and sell them in retail market,” a process that also stimulates these communities’ job markets, Lakhani explains. 

Why should you donate your old clothes?

Well for starters, according to a March 2020 BBC article, 10 percent of global carbon emissions come from the fashion industry. Secondly, the average American throws away about 70 pounds of clothing annually, according to statistics listed on ReUse’s website. In fact, while 2.57 million pounds of textiles were recycled by the U.S. in 2017, another 11.15 million pounds more ended up in landfills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.  

So, instead of just throwing out that poncho you thought would make a comeback, take it to ReUse instead.

ReUse Textile Recycling Services. 6830 Kirbyville St. (713) 417-3786. [email protected].

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