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Upcycle old clothes for fundraisers

Gone are the days of fundraisers requiring you and your kids to ask friends and neighbors to buy candy bars, poinsettias or car washes. Instead, invite people to spring clean their old, unusable clothes with Clothes for the Cause, a west coast textiles recycling company.

Clothes for the Cause hosts fundraisers that support charities, schools, sports teams and church groups by recycling unwanted, threadbare apparel into rags or insulation fiber. About 25 billion pounds of old clothes is thrown in landfills per year, making up 8 percent of the landfill’s volume, according to Gemtext, a Northwest-based sustainability company.

Clothes for the Cause is sponsored by Gemtext, which supports the Make-A-Wish foundations of Oregon, Idaho and Washington. Gemtext is placing donation homes around the Northwest and donates $0.02 per pound of textiles to Make-A-Wish, totalling more than $10,000 a year.

To participate, contact the group, reach out to your community, have the textiles in any condition ready to go on a set date and have two to four volunteers pick it up in the Clothes for the Cause truck. If your group collects more than 20,000 pounds of recyclables, they’ll give your cause a bonus.

All clean and dry clothes can be recycled. Almost 98 percent of all textiles can be recycled, according to Clothes for the Cause. This includes shoes, towels, bed sheets, purses, stuffed animals, quilts and drapes. They can’t accept thrift shop items, e-waste, hotel linens or industrial uniforms.

Julia Rogers can be reached at 503-546-5137 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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