Textile Waste Has Increased by a Staggering 811% Since 1960
From 1.7 million tons to 16 million tons.
According to a recent research conducted by the Envrionmental Protection Agency (EPA), textile waste has increased by 811 percent from 1960 to 2015, meaning numbers rose from 1.7 million tons to 16 million tons. The data also shows that 66 percent of the waste is heading to landfill.
Jackie King, the executive director of Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART), told Supply Chain Dive that “we’re consumers of a lot of fast fashion, where people are buying clothes, almost disposable clothing, and they may be wearing them a couple times sand then they decide to get rid of them.” She also mentioned that “a lot of the ‘fast fashion’ clothing is not very well made and might not last through more than a few washes before ending up in the landfill.”
Although waste occurs by both consumers and the brands that produce garments, companies can take the initiative to push the industry to reduce textile waste. Recently, Converseintroduced its sustainability efforts by using recycled plastic bottles to manufacture its shoes. Prada has also announced it will be using only recycled nylon by 2021. According to Supply Chain Dive, researchers are looking for more convenient ways to convert old garments into fiber that’s reusable for creating new clothes. One company that uses this kind of fibers is Evrnu, which entered into a partnership with Levi’s in 2016.
Last year, Burberry faced controversy over the fact that it burned millions of dollars worth of unsold products, later announcing it would stop doing so and also ban the use of real fur. Since then, the house has continued its eco-friendly efforts by hiring a director for diversity and sustainability.
For more related news, read about Nike facing backlash for its new Joyride cushioning system which uses thousands of TPE beads in sneaker soles.