Paper. Plastic. Aluminum cans. These items are top of mind when you think of waste headed for a landfill. They’re also among the most commonly recycled. But did you know that 6 percent of landfill waste generated each year comes from textiles? Six percent may not sound like a lot but it translates to billions of pounds of waste, most of which could be reused or recycled.
We have been recycling textile waste here at our mill for many years. Our current overall waste is 2%. With an industry norm of 15-30%, we couldn’t be more proud of our low output. However, waste doesn’t stop with manufacturing.
Textiles go out with the trash in American homes every day. Maybe that’s because we don’t think of fabric as waste. We hope to encourage people to reshape their view of recycling beyond what you put in your bin for weekly pick up. Here’s what you can do:
Reduce. Buy only high quality, sustainable items that you truly love. You’ll wear these things more frequently and, because better quality means increased durability, you won’t have to purchase replacements as often.
Reuse. Give your old things a new life. You can donate to charity or find ways to repurpose. As a family of sock makers, we’ve been getting creative with our leftovers for years. Here are a few of my mom’s tried-and-true favorite uses:
- Dust rag. Slip a sock on your hand, dampen with cleaner and have at it. Wash and reuse.
- Drink cozy. Want to insulate your drink? Put a sock on it. Cold stays cold and hot stays hot.
- Heat packs. Fill a sock with rice, seal it and heat in the microwave for 1 minute.
- Draft protector. In the winter, wedge stuffed socks in front of doors to keep cold air out.
- Dog toy. Place a tennis ball inside a sock for an added layer of chewing fun.
Recycle. Old fibers can be reworked and reused. Here’s where we come in.
We have the resources to take past-their-prime socks off your hands and have them recycled. Send your old socks* to us at this address:
Attention: zkano Recycles Program
1715 Airport Road
Ft Payne, AL 35968
That’s it! We’ll handle recycling from there.
(COVID-19 UPDATE- We are not accepting recycling at this time. As a precautionary measure, we are limiting the amount of packages we receive here at our mill. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope our recycling program will be available again soon!)
It’s little steps that make a big difference as we move towards a sustainable lifestyle. Our family is proud that you’re taking a few of those steps in zkano Socks.