Take a look at the shapeless sweatpants you bought with 1-click. Do they “bring you joy”? No. They don’t. But don’t toss them! Many downtown Westport retailers and resources are helping to transform unwanted clothing into something new (Bonus: you may even score a discount).
- Drowning in Denim: Madewell (155 Main Street) has partnered with Cotton's Blue Jeans Go Green program to recycle denim (any brand)into insulation for communities in need. They'll give you $20 off of a new pair to boot. Note: You can also mail in your old denim for free thanks to Zappos for Good, Zappos.com.
- Too Many Ts: Marine Layer’s (135 Main Street) Re-Spun program takes t-shirts (any brand), shreds them, combines them with recycled plastic water bottles and sustainable fiber, and makes new t-shirts. Drop off five or more, earn a $25 coupon.
- Retail Resale: Gently used Eileen Fisher garments can be returned to the store (160 Main Street). They'll be cleaned and re-sold through their Renew program. Worn-and-torn clothes are transformed into limited-edition designs, like wall hangings, pillows and other accessories.
- Not Getting Fleeced: Patagonia (87 Post Road East) will trade in your gently used Patagonia garments for a credit toward another purchase in store, on their website, or through WornWear.com. They’ll also repair your damaged Patagonia items.
- Throw In Your Towels: Bay State Textiles collects well-worn linens, clothing and shoes at the Westport Transfer Station (300 Sherwood Island Road). 45% of the textiles are reused, 30% are turned into wiping cloths, and 20% are recycled into new products, like carpet padding and building material. What’s more, the town of Westport gets paid.
- Re-Run: Fleet Feet (10 Sconset Square) collects gently used athletic shoes (adult size 6-11 only). Proceeds from the shoes fund MORE’s Reforestation Initiative which creates jobs in developing nations, and the current One Million Trees project which creates massive carbon offsets each year.
- A Beautiful Find: L’Occitane (45 Main Street) has partnered with TerraCycle to recycle cosmetics and skin care products (any brand). Collect the packaging from lip balm tubes, fragrances, deodorant sticks, lotion and soap containers and pumps, and shampoo bottles, and drop them at the store. Receive 10% off a new item.
- Re-Read: Used books, CDs and DVDs can be donated to the new Westport Book Shop (23 Jesup Road). This 501c-3 bookstore has a dual mission: helping support Westport's amazing public library, and providing meaningful work opportunities to adults with disabilities.
- Hung Up on Hangers? Don't be. Wire hangers are recyclable, but not curbside in Westport. So after you've finished cleaning your closet, you can return the metal hangers to your dry cleaner for reuse. Some will even take the plastic film back and make sure it’s recycled too.
- Re-Gift Locally: For almost everything else, there's the Westport Gift Economy - Neighbors Sharing with Neighbors (on Facebook). Search for the group and ask to join. You'll be amazed at what people give and take for free and the kindness with which they do it.
When in doubt, don't throw it out. You can look up recycling options for many other items by zip code using Search.Earth911.com. Also, follow @designportCT and @sustainablewestport for recycling tips!