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For the first time ever, clothing brands, retailers, consumers, municipalities, charitable organizations, academics and recyclers are joining forces to promote the recycling of clothing and textiles. The Council for Textile Recycling (CTR) recently released its new website aimed at educating the public on the importance of recycling all clothing and textiles, not just those that are “gently worn.”
The council’s new website mirrors the organization’s slogan—Wear. Donate. Recycle. “Our goal is to have zero post-consumer textile waste going into landfills by 2037,” says Eric Stubin, CTR chairman of the board. “In the United States the average person discards 70 pounds of their old clothing, shoes and household textiles in their local landfill each year. We’re educating people that clothing and textiles are among the most recyclable items in their home.”
In the U.S., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates more than 25 billion pounds of clothing and textiles including clothing, linens, belts and shoes are generated annually. The agency also reports more than 21 billion pounds (70 lbs. per person) of post-consumer textile waste ends up in landfills every year with only 15 percent of all post-consumer textiles enter the recycling stream.
“For the first time ever, all segments of the clothing industry including consumers, manufacturers, charities, retailers and recyclers have been brought together,” says Stubin. “I am active in many organizations that promote sustainable clothing manufacturing and green initiatives in the apparel industry and it’s exciting to finally have an organization representing all of the stakeholders as we strive to bring wide scale awareness to a very solvable problem. If consumers, municipalities and the apparel industry implement, promote and market, “Wear. Donate. Recycle,” we will significantly divert more post consumer textile waste in the years to come.”
Studies conducted at both the federal and state level show clothing and textiles make up more than 5 percent of all materials going into local landfills. “Consumers don’t realize 95 percent of all clothing and textiles is recyclable,” says Jackie King, executive director of the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association and member of the Board of Directors of the Council for Textile Recycling. “As long as items are clean and dry, even those that are stained or torn, they can be processed by textile recyclers extending the end-of-life of the material.”
Consumers are encouraged to visit the council’s new website to learn more and to join the organization. The Council for Textile Recycling will be compiling a resource library for consumers, municipalities, apparel and footwear brands and retailers interested in developing clothing and footwear recycling programs. A database of end-users including charities and private sector recyclers from all aspects of the industry will also be available to members of the Council for Textile Recycling.
For more information, click here.
The Council for Textile Recycling is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax exempt organization incorporated in the State of Maryland. The CTR is not involved in the collection of textile waste in any form and is entirely devoted to creating more awareness about keeping post-consumer textile waste out of our solid waste stream.