Textile recycler USAgain has published a list of eight “insane” facts about textile recycling. While I wouldn’t employ that particular adjective, and clothes “recycling” would be more accurately termed “reuse,” it’s still a cool compilation of info about a unique corner of the industry.
We profiled USAgain last year.
Eight Insane Facts About Textile Recycling
Brought to you by USAgain
- The average lifetime of a piece of clothing is only about 3 years.
- The consumer is the biggest culprit. In the U.S., 75% of pre-consumer textile waste is recycled by manufacturers, but only 15% of post-consumer textile waste is recycled.
- The average American throws away about 70 pounds of clothing, shoes and other household textiles each year.
- Americans generate almost 13 million tons of textile waste per year. Brits generate about 1.12 million tons of textile waste a year.
- Even though the UK appears to generate less textile waste, One in five Brits admit to throwing away a garment after a single wear. This means that more than $127 million of clothing winds up in landfills each year after being worn once. (One in five Brits also think that light sabers exist.)
- One in four American women own seven pairs of jeans, but only wear four of them regularly. (One in Four Americans also don’t know what nation the U.S. declared independence from.)
- The U.S. textile recycling industry creates around 17,000 jobs and removes 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile product from waste stream each year.
- Over 70% of the world’s population uses secondhand clothes.