Recently, a thrift store professional told me what I think most of us don’t know about the behind the scenes recycling of donated items:

“Did you know that only about 50% of the items that thrift stores receive is deemed “sellable” and of that, only about 50% is actually sold?  What happens to all of that “stuff”?  If you are into recycling, you’ll LOVE this answer:  all of the clothing is recycled!!!  All of the items that aren’t sold are shipped off to a grader who separates them into three categories.  The highest graded items are sold by the pound to Africa and other countries where they become the latest fashion statement.  The lower graded items are sold as wiper rags or made into pulp products.   Nothing goes into the landfill.  So, even if your clothing item is stained or has holes, send it to the thrift store of your choice – We Recycle!!!  Most thrift stores also recycle all metal, cardboard, electronics, shoes, paper, and even stuffed animals. So, avoid the landfill and donate even your most worn/used/broke items that the city won’t recycle and they will have an after life!”