When it comes to finding ways to reduce waste and become more eco-friendly, most people think of paper and plastic. However, one major contributor to landfill space often gets overlooked. This contributor? Textiles.
Fast fashion, while convenient for many, has proven a disastrous industry for the environment and the quality of clothing overall. While these outfits are cheap to make and allow people to swap their entire wardrobe with every season, this generates an obscene amount of waste. Over 92 million tons of clothes-related waste get discarded every year.
So, what can you do to reduce this? Textile recycling is one path you can take, but how does it work? Here’s what you need to know.
First, Clothing and Textiles Get Donated and Sorted
The first step in the textile recycling process is donation. Most people know about donating their old garments to secondhand stores for others to use. However, these often require the clothes to be in good, wearable condition.
This leads to many throwing their worn-out garments in the trash. However, if you go to a textile recycling center, you can donate any fabrics you have, no matter how worn out they are, as long as they’re clean and dry.
Once they arrive, the textiles get sorted by the type of fabric used to create them, making it easier to break them down.
Then, Unusable Pieces Get Shredded or Pulled
Any pieces that can’t be reused or re-worn will then arrive at a textile waste recycling center, where they get shredded into pieces or pulled into fibers. The process of textile shredding requires specialized equipment, so make sure you reach out to a company that offers that service.
Last, the Old Textile Waste Gets Respun Into New Garments
Once the fabrics get unraveled to their base forms, the old textile waste gets respun into new garments, furniture covers, and other textiles. As long as the fabric can get reduced by the company to its basic state, it can be reused again and again, reducing the number of wasted textiles and making fashion more environmentally friendly.
Almost Every Type of Fabric Can Get Recycled
One important fact to remember during the textile recycling process is that almost every type of fabric can get recycled. Even synthetics like polyester can get melted down and given new life in other synthetic garments.
And, as we mentioned before, the textiles don’t need to be in like-new condition. Even your oldest, nastiest pair of underwear can get recycled if you clean and dry them before donation. Keep this in mind when you’re looking for clothing and fabrics you want to ditch.
Looking for More Methods of Textile Recycling?
Textile recycling is one of many ways that you can make your life greener. However, the methods we listed here are not the only ways that you can give old, unwanted fabrics new life.
If you’d like to learn more about ways you can reuse, recycle, or upcycle your old fabrics, then check out our blog. We update each day with more helpful, informative articles like this one!