Send Your Unwanted Stuffed Animals on a Journey this Holiday Season



A child in El Salvador picks out a stuffed animal.


Donate and recycle – don’t throw away your old toys


For many households, the holiday season is a flurry of excitement and shopping. But more gifts mean more clutter! As you prepare to take out the old and bring in the new, the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) encourages you to donate and recycle rather than toss your old clothes, bed linens, drapes, bath towels and even stuffed animals.

Items like your child’s old teddy bear can live a second life when you donate to a collection center. For example, SMART member Bank & Vogue Ltd sends stuffed animals on a journey to Central America. Collection locations across Canada and the United States package clean, soft toys and send them to countries such as El Salvador, where they are sold at thrift stores and end up at a new home with a child. In the past two years, Bank & Vogue Ltd has recycled approximately 1,400,000 pounds of toys.

“We’re proud to support SMART in promoting textile recycling this holiday season,” says Steven Bethell, President of Bank & Vogue Ltd. “Our goal is to provide creative ideas and solutions to help deal with the overwhelming amount of ‘stuff’ we all consume, particularly at this time of year!”

In addition to stuffed animals, nearly 100 percent of donated textiles are reused and recycled into three grades: usable clothing, fiber conversion grade and wiping cloth grade. This means a sock can be transformed into pillow stuffing, old denim into household insulation and an old towel into a wiping rag. Any clothing, household textile or commercial linen textile, as long as it is dry and has no odor, can be reused and recycled. Even if the item is stained, torn, overly worn or out-of-date, do not throw it away; it has a use in the textile recycling industry. Only items that are wet (mildewed) or have been used with a solvent-type liquid (gasoline, Goof Off, etc.) cannot be recycled.

To find the closest SMART member near you to recycle your textiles and for more information on SMART, visit Please direct media inquiries for SMART to Andrea Lynn at 410-420-2001 or by email at [email protected].


Established in 1932, the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) is an international nonprofit trade association that strengthens the economic opportunities of its diverse membership by promoting the interdependence of the for-profit textile recycling industry segments and providing a common forum for networking, education and trade. SMART members use and convert recycled and secondary materials from used clothing, commercial laundries and non-woven, off spec material, new mills ends and paper from around the world. SMART member companies create thousands of jobs worldwide, proving each day you can make money by being social responsible.

About Bank & Vogue Ltd

Founded in Ottawa, Ontario in the early 90’s by Steven Bethell and Helene Carter as a family business, Bank & Vogue Ltd brings the circular economy to life. We have developed a global infrastructure in the wholesale of second-hand goods, which includes over 250 suppliers within the USA and Canada, and customers in 26 countries on four different continents. We are also retailers of vintage apparel, with the world’s largest commercial upcycling operation, and recycling 500,000 items annually through our sister company Beyond Retro. Our mission is to find a new home and create new life for 10 billion pounds of excess stuff; our purpose is offering “Innovative and Relevant Solutions for the Crisis of Stuff”.

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