A Cleaner World Blog
Can You Recycle Fabric?
You’ve cleaned out your closet, and you have three piles – keep, donate, and trash. You know what trash garments are; they are the items that are so far gone that you are too embarrassed to even donate them. My husband once had a pair of shorts that he wore entirely too long; there were way more holes than continuous fabric. One day he decided that they had served their purpose, and like so many other Americans, he threw them in the trash.
Here are a Few Statistics:
- Consumers throw away approximately 70 pounds of clothing per household per year.
- Roughly 13 million tons of clothes are dumped annually into US landfills.
- Nearly 4 billion pounds of clothes and fabrics are recycled yearly, but 85% are not recycled and end up in landfills.
Here is a Solution:
According to the Farmer’s Almanac (a source that my Grandpa swore by), all but about 5% of old clothes can be completely transformed. Everything from bedding to boots, jeans to pajamas, and shoes to undergarments, and a lot of stuff in between, and be converted to fiber or filler and used in things like carpet padding, furniture stuffing, and playground floors.
When you are donating clothing to an organization like The Salvation Army or Goodwill, ask if they sell their unsold textiles to salvage textile recyclers. If they do, great! If they don’t, consider using Earth 911 to help you locate a recycling center in your area. It is worth it to keep unused fabric from piling up in our landfills.