Here are eight facts you might not have known about textile waste... The average lifetime of a piece of clothing is only about 3 years.
When it comes to textile waste, the consumer is the biggest culprit. In the U.S., 75% of pre-consumer textile waste is recycled by manufacturers, but only 15% of post-consumer textile waste is recycled.
Every year, 3.8 billion pounds of unnecessary waste from recyclable textiles are added to our landfills.
Clothing and household textiles currently make up 5.2% of the waste in landfills.
Up to 95% of the textiles that are land filled each year could be recycled.
Recycling clothing and textiles decreases the use of natural resources, such as water used in growing crops and petroleum used in creating new clothing and textiles. It also decreases the need for chemicals used in manufacturing new textiles and the pollution caused by the manufacturing process.
The U.S. textile recycling industry creates around 17,000 jobs and removes 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile product from waste stream each year.
Between 1999 and 2009 the volume of post-consumer textile waste generated grew by 40%, while the diversion rate grew by only 4%. Sources
SMART: Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles
Council for Textile Recycling