Textile Waste Is The Crisis We Need to Tackle

Textile Waste Is The Crisis We Need to Tackle

During an era where we are all first person witnesses to a climate crisis, we must turn our attention to textile waste. Why? Because textile waste must be reduced-if not stopped entirely. Our landfills, packed already with signs of our overconsumption, are being filled ever more quickly with textile waste, waste that takes years to decompose. As a result, “Textile and material waste makes up 9.5% of municipal solid waste generated in America every year” (Center for Ecotechnology). On the other hand, textile waste includes products such as clothing, footwear, fashion accessories, towels, bedding, and drapery that have been purchased. Due to the lack of awareness among too many of us, “ 95% of all textiles have the potential to be reused or recycled, but currently they are recycled at a rate of only 15%”(Center for Ecotechnology).  

If textile waste is our problem, then it must also be our solution. Textile reuse and recycling has the second highest potential environmental impact on reducing greenhouse gases compared to other recyclables. Yet, the majority of us seem to overlook the option of reusing or donating clothes. The EPA reports only 2.3 million tons of used clothing and household textiles are recovered for reuse and recycling annually in the U.S., while more than 15 million tons is discarded in our nation’s landfills and incinerators. For the sake of a better and healthier planet, donate clothes and reuse instead of filling up our landfills. Shop reclaimed and environmentally aware and conscious brands. Live a life aligned with values centered in an effort to model the kind of change our planet so desperately needs.


O'Connor, M., 2021. The Monster in our Closet: Fast Fashion & Textile Waste on the Rise. [online] Center for EcoTechnology. Available at: <https://www.centerforecotechnology.org/fast-fashion-textile-waste/> [Accessed 23 February 2021]. 


Written by Guest Blogger: 

Fatimata Djibrine

Cheltenham High School - Project Based Learning Intern

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