As you play through The Division you’re going to use items, find better stuff, and replace the old. At this point you have two options with what to do with your old weapons and armor. You can simply sell it to a vendor and get some cash if you need it, or alternatively you can deconstruct it and reap the rewards for doing so.
To deconstruct an item all you have to do is find the item that you want to deconstruct and hold down the L3 button (click in the left thumbstick) on your controller. You’ll see a red circle pop up and once that’s completed you’ll be told that you have gained some sort of crafting material dependent on what it was you deconstructed. For weapons you will gain weapon parts that are used for crafting weapons at the Crafting Station. If you deconstruct armor or clothing you’ll get fabric which can be used to craft new armor or more clothing.
If you choose to deconstruct a lot of your loot rather than selling it, you can then turn the Weapon Parts and Fabric that you’ve accumulated and turn them into higher-quality materials. These in turn will allow you to craft better equipment.
It’s always good to recycle agents!