According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 4.5%, or 4 million tons of all waste sent to municipal landfills is comprised of textiles.
Benefits of Textile and Clothing Recycling
Ninety-nine percent of used textiles are recyclable. Textile and clothing recycling can give old clothes, linens, and other textiles a second life. That not only reduces the amount of waste going into landfills, it also provides some much needed assistance to third–world nations. Almost half of all post-consumer textile waste that is recovered is recycled to be used as second hand clothing which is often sold to third–world nations. It is through the diligent recycling efforts of the Textile and Clothing Industry, that some of the world’s poorest nations are able to clothe their residents.
The recovery of textiles and clothing for recycling provide both environmental and economic benefits.
- Clothing & textile recycling reduces the need for landfill space.
- Synthetic fiber products will not decompose, and as a result present a unique set of problems in the landfill. While woolen garments do decompose, they also produce methane which contributes to global warming.
- Clothing & textile recycling reduces pressure on virgin resources.
- Clothing & textile recycling encourages the development of additional markets.
- Raw materials created from recycled content generally cost less, making their use attractive and desirable to manufacturers. This in turn leads to the development of more markets for reclaimed fibers.
- Clothing & textile recycling results in less pollution and energy savings.