FACTS ABOUT OUR CLOTHING HABITS:
Yearly more than 80 billion articles of clothing are produced and sold around the world. That means that every year billions of used articles of clothing are thrown away to make room for new ones. This is an unfortunate waste of valuable resources.
- Approximately 12 million tons of textile waste is generated each year in North America.
- The average American throws out about 82 pounds of textile waste per year.
- It takes 700 gallons of water to make a cotton t-shirt.
- Clothes can take up to 200 years to decompose.
- Only about 0.1% of recycled fiber collected by charities is recycled into new textile fiber.
- If the average life of clothing was extended by just three months, it would reduce their carbon
and water footprints as well as waste generation by 5-10%.
Why recycle? The short list includes:
- It saves money
- It avoids the use of virgin fibers
- It lessens the demand for dyes
- It improves efficiency
- It reduces energy use
- It reduces fuel use
- It saves landfill space
- it improves air quality
- it improves water quality
- It reduces the rate of global warming
These facts indicate that the textile recycling industry has great potential to expand given that 85% of used textiles still go to national landfills. The next steps involve increased initiatives to promote recycling as well as harmonization of collection efforts. Upcoming generations are demanding repurposed textiles and looking for ways to put their purchasing power into responsible means.