Textile Recycling Hits the US as Sustainable Clothing Gets Hot

Textile Recycling Hits the US as Sustainable Clothing Gets Hot

Image courtesy of I Love Images

Sustainable clothing has become, for the most part, something fashionistas are celebrating and pushing the front of the fashion industry’s agenda but up until recently it was not understood what exactly it meant to be sustainable. Some would look at how the fabrics were primed in terms of chemicals while others would comment on the actual source materials for the fabrics; both do play a roll. However one amazing new process is going to make sustainable clothing in the UK, US and the world a little easier to understand because of its similarity to how we already understand recycling is sustainable. A curb-side textile recycling program has just launched in the US; Queen Creek, Arizona is home to the first service of its kind in the US and many a sustainable clothing company are in celebration.

Practical Sustainable Project

The plan of action on this sustainable clothing task is currently going through its four month pilot stage where all textiles donated or sourced and deemed ready to be recycled will be sorted, weighed and processed. The next stage will be turning the textiles into fabrics that could be used in fashion, but for the meantime eco-friendly home insulation is the product initially being created. Anything from towels, blankets, clothing and even shoes can be used in the process; there is only one exclusion clause and that is the soon to be sustainable clothing materials must be free of containments.

The Influence of Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable clothing labels should be able to get on board with the knowledge that jobs are being created and communities will be getting involved in a big way; over 7000 inhabitants of Queen Creek will have the opportunity to participate in the program. Considering the new program is in its infancy, there are no immediate goals other than to see how many people will get on board with the sustainable solutions. If it wasn’t enough that this program is saving the earth in its own way, the town is also donating money to a local charity for every ton of recyclable clothing it receives.

Fashionable Ideas Made Practical

With an EPA estimation of close to 13.1 million tons of clothing being thrown out in the year 2010, many brand sustainable clothing a necessary cause for the future and this program may serve as a precedent for future governments, generations and counties to follow suit. There is no doubt that sustainable clothing is in vogue this season, but it’s always been more of a concept than actually put into action but thankfully programs like this can and will push the sustainable clothing topic further than merely a fashionable idea.

Eugene Calvini is a writer passionate about sustainable fashion; from the bespoke hangers to organic fabrics, he enjoys sharing exciting eco-conscious news.

Filed in: Recycling

9 Responses to “Textile Recycling Hits the US as Sustainable Clothing Gets Hot”

  1. Tony Cars
    September 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could recycle everything? This takes us one step closer. If we could now just convince people to separate their waste for recycling….

    • N Nizam
      September 24, 2012 at 7:22 am #

      There are up to 90 percent of trash goes into landfills, threatening our precious air, land and water sources, so, we must do better. Usable textiles should be banned from the landfills, part of a long list of “disposable” products now fouling the oceans and the skies. The best solution is to have recycling options for ALL of these items in the places people frequently go. We need to do whatever we can to increase the percentage of recycled textiles.

      • Jenelle @ TrashN2Tees
        September 24, 2012 at 7:43 am #

        Americans throw away approximately 68lbs of clothing into our landfills each year. 98% of that can be recycled. For so long we’ve accepted landfills as a solution to our consumption problem- do you realize that according to the EPA the 1,794 landfills in U.S. will be full in 20 years! What’s next?! I would love to see more communities like Queen Creek take action and offer curbside textile recycling. You can find out more about my commitment to change the way we consume and create at trashn2tees.com and createchangemovement.com

        • N Nizam
          September 25, 2012 at 7:02 am #

          Dear Jenelle. Thank you so much for the links given.

  2. @PlanetAid
    September 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    There are a few wonderful ways to approach textile recycling. Thrift and consignment stores are a perfect way to thin out your closet while reducing waste and pollution. This is because of they are often locally owned, they are also a great way to support the economy in your community. Another easy way to do your part and support your community is to make drop-offs to clothing donation bins in your area. Planet Aid is one great way to locate a donation bin near you.

    • N Nizam
      September 25, 2012 at 7:04 am #

      Dear PlanetAid.
      You’ve got a good point there. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise.

  3. Red Devil
    September 25, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    There are recycling centers for plastic and aluminium and paper, why not fabrics/clothing. I wonder if other large cities have companies/organizations that do this type of recycling. Thanks for this info.

    • Jenelle @ TrashN2Tees
      September 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

      Hey Red Devil,
      Something like Wearable Collections maybe? Over 200 residential buildings in NYC are enjoying the convenience of a Wearable Collection clothing recycling bin on premises.They also collect clothing at GrowNYC weekly green markets.

  4. Jacob Newton
    September 25, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    If you are in the UK, I really recommend you the ‘Rag Bag’ recycling scheme where it could raise you a lot of money! Collect unwanted textiles and you can easily get £500 per ton. This is UK wide so if you want to help reduce landfill and raise money check out rag-bag.co.uk