Birmingham thrift store recycling clothing and other materials this National Secondhand Wardrobe Day

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Happy National Secondhand Wardrobe Day! Sozo Trading Company in Birmingham’s Avondale neighborhood has been working on a new recycling initiative. With the help of a bailer, they’re recycling unsold items, compacting them and sending the materials off for reuse.

Pictured above: 1,078 lbs of textiles (cloth and other fibers).

“We have a bailer now in the back of our warehouse,” Catilin Owens, manager at Sozo Trading Co. said. “We recycle unused textiles. That’s anything from linens, clothing, shoes, bags – we also recycle cardboard.”

With the help of a grant from the Independent Presbyterian Church (IPC), the upscale thrift store is now able to recycle all those holey materials you didn’t know what to do with…

“We have a bailer now in the back of our warehouse,” Catilin Owens, manager at Sozo Trading Co. said. “We recycle unused textiles. That’s anything from linens, clothing, shoes, bags – we also recycle cardboard.”

“Once we bail our unused textiles,” Owens said. “A bail is about a thousand pounds of clothing or linens. We will fill a truckload with those bails. Each truckload is about 40 bails which is 40 thousand pounds. Each year, we’re looking to recycle about 60 tons of unused textiles.”

More items may be recyclable than you’d think.

“Polyesters can be turned into other plastics, some of the cotton textiles can be rewoven into new fibers, Owens explained. “It can be used for carpet padding, rags, any way it can be repurposed.”

Not to mention, thrifting has become trendy. It’s been popularized by singer-rapper Macklemore and social media.

Sozo Trading Co. is located at: 4 41st St S, Birmingham, AL 35222

“My whole outfit right now is thrifted,” she said. “I think you can always find something pre-loved that you can use. We also get new items that come in. You never know what you’re going to find.”

If you’d like to see your old clothing or materials reused, you can drop your items off indoors during operating hours at Sozo Trading Company. Donors can also drop off their materials after ours in their designated bin. You can find their website here.

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