Fast fashion is downing the world and sending 26 Billion Pounds of Reusable Textiles to the Landfill Every Year
Our overconsumption and fast fashion has brought about a massive rise in textile waste dumped in landfill sites. The Environment Select Committee reported that textile waste had risen from 7% of total waste to 30% in the last five years, claiming the rise of cheap throwaway fashion chains were to blame for the phenomenon.
While the U.S. EPA estimates that textile waste occupies nearly 5% of all landfill space. They also estimate that the textile recycling industry recycles approximately 3.8 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste (PCTW) each year, this only accounts for approximately 15% of all PCTW, leaving 85% in our landfills.
The average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually.
What’s the solution?
- Buy Less. We all know you don’t need that 10th pair of blue jeans that is pretty similar to the rest that you have in your closet. Buying less is a sure way of reducing any more clothing in landfills.
- Donate. While it can be argued that donated clothing end in poorer countries that then hinders their own local production of goods, charities and the post-consumer textile recycling industry have repurposed and recycled billions of pounds of clothing, household textiles, shoes, and accessories. This ensures your old clothing, footwear, and textiles continue to add value to the U.S. economy and beyond.
- When you do shop, Buy ethical and fair trade. Organic, ethical and fair trade products are usually made with fewer resources and different materials with a lower environmental impact.