Globally, 80% of discarded textiles are doomed for the landfill or incineration. Only 20% are actually reused or recycled.
The clothing that ends up in landfills can sit there for 200-plus years, and as it decomposes, it emits methane—a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon. Yikes. And much of what we donate
gets packed, shipped, and re-sold overseas or gets dumped in landfills
anyway. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, so we did some
digging and followed the paths that old clothes might take once they
leave our hands.
Right now, less than 1% of
collected clothing is recycled into new yarns and fibers. New
technologies, like chemical recycling (which separates raw materials
from dyes, elastics, etc. for effective use as new textiles) are in the
works, but we have a long way to go until they’re fully developed and
put into mainstream practice. So, what can we do now to save our
clothing from a landfilled end?
The Church of Stop Shopping