Facts About Recycling Textile and Garments Waste
- The volume of clothing Americans throw away each year has doubled in the last 20 years, from 7 million to 14 million tons.
- In 2018, 17 million tons of textile waste ended up in landfills, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, making up 5.8 percent of the total MSW generation that year.
- According to the World Resources Institute, it takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt.
- Textiles can take up to 200+ years to decompose in landfills.
Many charitable and nonprofit organizations operate drop-off points for textiles like clothes and shoes. You usually find these sites in supermarket parking lots and in the organizations’ own business locations. What the groups can’t reuse they generally sell to private firms that deal in textiles.
If you are overhauling your wardrobe or making space for new items, make sure you dispose of your unwanted clothing correctly. Clothing can be recycled and reused in many ways, but not through regular curbside recycling collection.
Recycling your clothing will:
- conserve raw materials and save water and energy
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- reduce landfill
- provide affordable clothing to needy families and individuals
- Reduce your need to recycle clothing by buying for the long term
- Buy better quality clothing that will last longer
- Buy sustainably wherever you can to avoid supporting unsustainable supply chains
- Freshen your look with accessories
- Swap or borrow from friends and family members for special occasions, rather than regularly buying new clothing that is only worn a handful of times
- Plan your clothes shopping like you would grocery shopping and avoid wasteful impulse buys
- Buy clothes that can be layered so you can wear them in multiple seasons
- Look after your clothes by following care instructions
- Investing in small repairs can be a cost-effective way to make your clothing last longer
- Shopping your wardrobe is a fashion movement which encourages consumers to take a fresh look at clothes already in their wardrobe, in hope they will rediscover garments that may not have been worn in a while
- Keep your wardrobe tidy so you can see everything available to be worn.
- Look for ways your clothes can be reused. Hand-me-downs, charity shops, community and online marketplaces, garage sales and swap meets are all ways to resell or reuse your unwanted clothing
- Recycle clothing in good condition by donating to your local charity store or second-hand clothing shops
- Check with your charity shop to confirm which items are accepted and, whenever possible, take your clothes in during opening hours and hand them to someone working there. Remember: leaving items outside a closed store or next to a collection bin is illegal dumping
- You can sell clothes through online marketplaces, community markets and garage sales or give them to family and friends
- A range of other clothing donation programs offer their proceeds to various good causes such as disadvantaged people looking for employment, and local and international communities in need of clothing and footwear
At the EcoFairy, our goal is to help you build a more sustainable life by offering you a line of reusable products. We offer products that last and that will help you reduce the amount of plastic you use.
More info on our website: https://www.theecofairy.com