Patagonia set up a box at Adventure 16 (on Sepulveda and Pico) where people can discard some of their unwanted clothing. Patagonia will then
*granulate the fabric into small pellots
*break down the fabric (on the molecular level) into its raw polyester material
*turn it into polyester chips (as good of quality as "virgin" polyester chips)
*melt the chips and spin it into a fiber
*make clothing out of it
According to Patagonia's website, as of right now only the following items can be recycled:
Patagonia fleece (including Synchilla® and Regulator® insulation)
Polartec® fleece from other manufacturers
Patagonia cotton T-shirts
Buttons, zippers and snaps do not need to be removed in advance. They come off in the recycling process.
They are working on new technologies to be able to recycle different kinds of garments from various manufacturers.
More information can be found here.