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Goodwill Developing New Economy, Ways To Keep Textiles Local

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A Goodwill worker loads used clothes pressed by a compactor. (CBS)

A Goodwill worker loads used clothes pressed by a compactor. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Those stained and worn clothes that get thrown away can actually be put to good use. According to major Bay Area charity, Goodwill, they’re using the clothes to generate revenue to develop a new economy.

Four million donated items come through Goodwill’s San Francisco warehouse every year; some by the truckload.

“More than 80 percent of the funding of our job training and placement programs, which is the mission of Goodwill comes through the sale of those donated goods in our stores,” said Director of Brand and Marketing Tim Murray.

Murray said Goodwill alone will create more than 500 new jobs this year.

Clothing that doesn’t sell in stores get compressed into thousand pound bails.

Traditionally they sell in the global aftermarket, but Murray said that’s changing.

“What we’re trying to do is figure out a way to extract the most value from that textile before it goes to waste and we actually see the emerging of a new economy that’s forming here in California (where things tend to start) and we’re calling that the re-value economy.”

Goodwill is now taking part in a design challenge put on by the mayor’s office with the winners of the best ideas to be announced in November.

“We believe that if we can figure out ways to keep these textiles local and repurpose them, we will actually grow more jobs and grow a stronger economy and be able to help more people,” Murray said.

That’s why Murray’s takeaway message is to never throw away your old clothing.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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