How is textile waste being managed?
How is it used? Who is using it? Where is it going?
How do we fix the problem? How can we create jobs?
As of now in the US, textile waste is being managed by either charitable organizations, textile recovery facilities, crafty upcycling, or it’s not being managed at all being discarded in landfills.
In my opinion one of the main problems with textile waste is the lack of information given to consumers on how to dispose of their textiles. If people were more aware of the life cycle of their textiles, then perhaps less would end up in landfills. Our society has been taught the importance of recycling cans and water bottles, conserving water and energy, and the importance of disposing electronics properly. Now is the time to educate about textiles.
A few steps that I feel would help with our textile waste problem would be:
- Government or State Government recognizing that textile waste is a problem.
- Ban disposal of textiles in landfills
- Set up CRV plan for textiles. Recycling companies should be able to buy textiles not suitable for donation by the pound. Similar to paying out for recycling bottles and cans.
- Make donating textiles and shoes as easy as mailing a letter. meaning, drop off boxes should be as readily available as mailboxes.
Of course these steps are based on our government recognizing that textile waste is a problem, and also their willingness to spend money on a recycling program.
If our government did recognize the textile waste problem, I imagine that perhaps they could work with existing charitable organizations in creating programs about textile watse.
The UK is ahead of us in regards to recycling textiles.
Info on their programs:
There is also already a cash for clothes company in the UK. They offer 50pounds per kilo.
Link to their site: