According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average person throws away 70 pounds of clothing per year. The end result of that staggering number is an additional 3.8 billion pounds of added waste in landfills. Waste that could otherwise be used to create new, high quality, and sustainable items through recycling. Textiles currently account for more than 5% of the waste in landfills, and all of those textiles can be recycled and refashioned into new high quality wares.
The act of reprocessing textiles into fibers allows new products to be created such as paper, clothing, furniture, and yarn. It can also be processed into building materials such as insulation and carpet padding. Our company, for example, uses these materials to create premium and handmade goods such as hammocks, shirts, poufs, and pillows. The sky is the limit with these wonderful materials.
So, how do we do it? Textiles generally consist of biodegradable materials and are sorted by color when they arrive at the facility. The color sorting allows us to limit the energy expended by re-dying the materials, allowing the process to be as green as possible. The textiles are shredded, cleaned, and then separated into different purposes, where they will be strung into yarn, pressed into filler for car seats or mattresses, or insulation.
We are doing our part to keep 3.8 billion pounds of added material out of our landfills by creating high quality, premium, and sustainable goods out of them. Recycling has never looked so good.