Clothing and other textiles are different from most other recyclable materials. They are easily reusable and recyclable, but also very easily contaminated if not collected and handled properly. The foremost idea is to divert clothing before it enters the waste stream and to find people that will wear it again.
All items deposited into a donation box are carefully separated by hand (clothing, shoes, miscellaneous items) and then prepared for shipping while keeping the material in the best shape possible for future reuse.
Most of the clothing made today is produced from cotton, one of the most water-, labor- and pesticide-intensive crops. It takes over 900 gallons of water just to grow a pound of cotton; the amount of pesticides and industrial fertilizer needed to grow enough cotton for one t-shirt weighs almost as much as the final t-shirt itself!
The Environmental impact of a cotton T-shirt:
Material, production and transport phases, resources spent and greenhouse gasses produced per pound of final product