Your guide to Birmingham retailers offering fantastic trade programs

Madewell
Upcycle to create new items from old ones. (Madewell / Facebook)

You’ve heard of recycling paper and aluminum cans, but did you know you can also recycle clothes? Several Birmingham retailers offer recycling programs to help the Earth one clothing item at a time. Read on to find out how you can help them in their mission by trading in your preloved items.

1. Carters

Carter's
The sweetest little clothes. (Carter’s / Facebook)

Children go through clothes quickly due to frequent growth spurts, stains and tears. So how do caregivers donate and resell their kids’ used clothes? Carter’s has a great solution. Through a partnership with TerraCycle, Carter’s offers KidCycle, a free clothing recycling program. 

To take part in the program, follow these steps:

  1. Click here to become a member of Carter’s Rewarding Moments store loyalty program. It’s free to join. 
  2. Create a TerraCycle account using the same email address as your Carter’s Rewarding Moments account, then download and print the available prepaid shipping label. 
  3. Seal your box of items (no shoes or accessories) and ship it via your local UPS. 

When your items are received and processed, you’ll receive 25 points on your Carter’s Rewarding Moment’s loyalty account. 

*Shipments must be 15 pounds or more to earn Carter’s My Rewarding Moments points.

Where: Carter’s, 6200 Grand River Blvd E, Leeds, AL 35094
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11AM-7PM | Sunday, Noon-6PM
Website | Facebook | Instagram

2. Lululemon

Birmingham, lululemon
Get credit to lululemon when you trade in gently-use items. (lululemon Birmingham / Facebook)

lululemon’s trade program, Like New, is a quick and easy way to recycle your gently-used items and score store credit. According to Lululemon’s website, 100% of lululemon Like New profits are reinvested into their sustainability initiatives.

  • What they accept: Clean, gently-used lululemon clothing and gear. It should function perfectly and be in good condition.
  • What you’ll get for your trade: an e-gift card that can be used at your local store or at shoplululemon.com.
  • Here’s how much credit you can get:
    • Shirts, shorts + skirts – $5 credit
    • Hoodies, sweatshirts, sweaters, pants, crops, leggings + dresses – $10 credit
    • Large bags (backpacks, duffles + totes larger than 10L) – $10 credit
    • Outerwear – $25 credit

Shop Like New.

Where: 220 Summit Blvd, #140, Birmingham, AL 35243
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10AM-9PM | Sunday, Noon-6PM
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Want to recycle more than clothes? Check out this guide to recycling in Birmingham.

3. Madewell

Madewell
Got denim? (Madewell / Facebook)

Are you a fan of Madewell jeans? Get ready to love them even more. Madewell is another clothing retailer you’ll find in Birmingham that is all about sustainability. In fact, the company’s on a mission to become fully-sustainable by 2025.

Through a partnership with the Cottons Blue Jeans Go Green™ program, Madewell offers a clothing recycling program called Madewell Forever. Cute, right? The program takes your preloved denim in any cut, style or color and recycles it so it can be turned into housing insulation.

According to Madewell’s website, when you shop the brand’s pre-owned styles instead of buying new, you reduce carbon emissions by 82%. Not only that, check out these stats made possible through the recycling program:

  • 1,096,265 pairs of jeans have been recycled so far
  • 1,462 houses could be built with insulation made from your passed-on pairs of denim
  • 548 tons of waste have been saved from landfills

Here’s how it works: To trade in your preloved denim—any brand!—visit your local Madewell store or click here and follow the mail-in instructions. In return, you’ll get $20 off a new pair of Madewell jeans. Shop Madewell Forever here.

Where: Madewell Birmingham, 214 Summit Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35243
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10AM-9PM | Sunday, Noon-6PM
Website | Facebook | Instagram

4. Marine Layer

Marine Layer
Turn in your tees at Marine Layer at The Summit. (The Summit – Birmingham / Facebook)

Nothing beats the perfect tee. What makes them even better is being able to give them a second life. Marine Layer’s one-of-a-kind recycling program, Re-Spun, lets you trade in your old tees for store credit. Here’s how it works:

  • Bring your old tees to your local Marine Layer shop, or opt for mail-in when you request a recycling kit here.
  • Receive $5 in store credit for each tee you donate.
  • Marine Layer breaks your shirts down into recycled yarn.
  • Your old tees get a second life.

Marine Layer accepts most T-shirts, but those made from cotton are ideal because they can be broken down into recycled yarn more easily. While Spandex in activewear fabric is more difficult to break down, Marine Layer will still accept it for other uses like housing insulation.

Where: Marine Layer, 200 Summit Blvd, #450, Birmingham, AL 35243
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11AM-7PM | Sunday, 11AM-6PM
Website | Facebook | Instagram

5. Patagonia

Patagonia
Worn Wear will even repair other brands of clothing. (Kenny Gamblin)

For outdoor apparel and gear, Patagonia is a popular brand found locally at stores like Alabama Outdoors, Mountain High Outfitters and REI. As a company that creates items for outdoor use, it makes sense that it’s pro-Earth, using sustainable materials and offering a recycling program to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Patagonia’s Worn Wear program is a recycling initiative that allows consumers like you to trade in gently-worn Patagonia clothing in-store or via mail. In return, you’ll receive retail credit of up to $100 to be used online or at local stores that sell that brand.

Here’s what they accept:

  • Men’s, Women’s + Kid’s clothing
  • Gear like backpacks, totes + sleeping bags

Where: Find the Patagonia brand at Alabama Outdoors, Mountain High Outfitters and REI
Website | Facebook | Instagram

6. SoZo Trading Company

Sozo Trading
Mural at SoZo Trading Company. (SoZo Trading Co)

SoZo Trading Company is another local biz that strives to reduce, reuse and recycle. As a thrift store, the shop already highlights pre-worn clothing, but in August 2021, the company went a step further. It launched a new program that upcycles or transforms old material into new products. The recycling plan involves reweaving fabric into new clothes as well as turning fabrics into home insulation and carpet padding.

Have extra clothing, shoes, bags or cardboard? You can donate it all at SoZo Trading Co. 

Where: SoZo Trading Co, 4 41st St S, Birmingham, AL 35222
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9AM-6PM
Website | Facebook | Instagram

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Patience Itson
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