Textile waste - originated from both the household (consumer) sector and the industrial (manufacturing) sector – is rising …
  • The amount of textiles in US waste has increased more than five-fold since 1950, rubber and leather have tripled. Recycling rates - currently at about 12% for rubber and leather and 14% for textiles - have not kept pace, so the amounts of these materials, which are incinerated and disposed of in landfills, are increasing.

  • In the UK, textiles represent between 3% - 5% of household waste and estimates for arising of textile waste vary between 550,000 - 900,000 tonnes each year. Over 1 million tonnes of textiles are thrown away every year mostly from domestic sources, of which only 25% are recycled.

  • There is an average of 7 kilograms of textile waste (clothes, bedding, curtains, etc.) per person in landfills throughout Canada. Textile waste accounts for more than 4% of materials in Canada's landfills.
Recycling textiles can save up to 15 times the energy recoverable by incineration…
  • It takes 1.5 billion gallons (about 5.7 billion litres) of oil to manufacture 1 million tonnes of clothing…

  • If everyone bought one reclaimed woollen garment each year, it would save an average of 300 million gallons (about 1,135 litres) of water and 400 tones of chemical dyes.
Instead of discarding unwanted appliances, tools, or clothes, individual consumers can contribute minimizing waste by…
  • considering acquiring used clothing at thrift or consignment shops;

  • donating or reselling items to thrift stores or other organizations in need;

  • selling second-hand items at fairs, bazaars, swap meets, and garage sales;

  • giving hand-me-down clothes to family members, neighbouring families, or the needy.