The Lowdown on Textile Recycling

One of the biggest issues with the fast fashion industry is the way that the majority of the clothing is disposed of. After all, where else does one expect a poorly crafted shirt to end up other than a landfill? Not only does this have profound effects on our environment and threatens the sustainability of the earth for future generations, it is an incredible flaw in the way that the fashion industry operates when it has the potential to do good. Read on to find out how textile recycling could help shape the ethics of fashion.


Whilst it is not a new concept, it is true that we are only just starting to realise how important it is to recycle used clothing. In fact, statistics suggest that almost 100 billion items are created per year and in 2010, 5% of the waste produced by America was textile scrap. Whilst this doesn’t seem like much it actually equates to 13 million tons! When textiles reach a landfill the natural fibres that were used to create certain items of clothing can take centuries to completely decompose which can have devastating effects on our atmosphere. After all, they have the potential to release gases like methane and carbon dioxide. Synthetic fibres do not decompose at all and end up polluting the environment too.

The Sources

There are many places that textiles can be sourced from in order to try and encourage recycling. A large majority of recycled textiles come from consumers after they have purchased, used and no longer have use for an item. Another large proportion is gathered before clothing reaches the consumers. This includes scrap yarn and fabric textiles left over from the creative process.

The Process

A lot of thought goes into recycling textiles and it is not as simple as throwing it all into a magic machine. For example, clothing is categorised with regards to its material and colour. After all, coloured fabrics do not require re-dyeing which can save energy. The textiles are then shredded in order to create fibres and ultimately a yarn then this is fed through a cleaning and mixing environment and re-spun in preparation for knitting or weaving.

There are many alternatives to throwing old clothing away, especially since recycling has become so ingrained into modern society. For example, material can be recycled and repurposed for use in other items of clothing, the garment could be donated to those in need or even made into a completely different product all together. The beauty of textile recycling is its ability to contribute to ethical fashion. After all, it is fashion with fewer environmental consequences, and more of an environmental conscience! To find out more information, speak to a member of the 2forjoy team today!


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