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Recycling Old Clothing Lets Shoppers Go Green, Save Green

WEST HOLLYWOOD ( — As the summer fashion season approaches, some retailers are asking shoppers to recycle the old as they make way for the new.

Elan Sevko of West Hollywood is on the hunt for a new summer ensemble. As she tells it, much of the clothing hanging in her closet is "too bulky", "too five years ago" or "too tattered".

Some stores are helping shoppers like Sevko do a wardrobe reload, going green and saving money in the process.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American throws away 54 pounds of clothing in the U.S. every year, sending an estimated nine tons of textiles to landfills.

But going green can help the environment and in some cases, help shoppers save money.

H&M recently launched "Long Live Fashion", a program that allows shoppers to drop off their old and worn clothing in exchange for vouchers offering 15 percent off an item of your choice.

All types of clothing are accepted, and can be of any brand and in any condition. Shoppers are allowed to bring in two bags a day.

In Los Angeles, only 15 percent of textiles are recycled in the L.A.-area, according to recycling network company

When textiles are recycled, they end up at a facility that classifies them in one of four categories: re-wear, re-use, recycle, and energy.

Clothing that can't be worn again can be turned into products like insulation and cleaning cloth.

And H&M is not the only retailer getting in on the trend of green fashion:

Patagonia has a program called "Common Threads" that collects old store items and turns them into new ones.

The Gap recently collected 360,000 pairs of jeans that will be turned into insulation.

And charitable organizations like Salvation Army and Goodwill sell defective clothing to textile recyclers.

For more information on H&M's recycling visit their website.

For more information on Patagonia's program visit their website.

For more information on American Apparel's recycling visit their website.

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