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Textile Recycling at its Best

“It takes 700 gallons of water to grow the cotton to produce just one T-shirt.” -USAGAIN

Textile recycling is thankfully a growing business headed by companies committed to lowering the mass quantities of garments thrown away each year. With proper reuse and redistribution of unwanted garments not only do we help others by providing them with affordable and clean clothing, but we also help ourselves by slowing the rate of garbage ending up in landfills.

Textile recycling can mean either the collection of garments for redistribution, or it means that the goods collected will actually be broken down into new materials. Either way hundreds of thousands of tons of unwanted garments stay out of landfills every year.

BCR Global Textiles is a large scale textile recycling company that takes quality donations and redistributes them to other countries. People are encouraged to use the donation banks set up, where garments, shoes and bras are collected and sorted on a massive scale. BCR not only creates jobs itself but also creates jobs for the businesses who sell the recycled garments abroad and thus provides inexpensive clothes for third world countries throughout the globe. Here is an amazing video that takes a closer look at the entire process:

Founded in 1948, The Bureau of International Recycling pioneered the interests of the recycling industry on an international scale. During the sorting process items are classified as wearable and sent to be sold secondhand or as unwearable and sold to the ‘flocking’ industry for shredding and re-spinning into new fabric and yarn. Textile materials are shredded or pulled into fibers and the yard is re-spun ready for later weaving or knitting. Of all collected textiles, approximately 50% are reused and 50% are recycled.

Patagonia has been using fabrics made from recycled fibers for years, they have now teamed up with eBay to launch a trend to resell used Patagonia items online. As firm believers in the notion that we shouldn’t buy more of what we don’t need, Patagonia is encouraging it’s customers to resell their used items to help complete the circle. Way to go Patagonia!

Dress for Success may be one of the more recognizable names in the not-for-profit and textile recycling world. They have been around since 1997 and have helped more than 550,000 women around the world to find work and become financially independent. Offering services designed to help women not only find jobs by giving them clean appropriate work work attire, but to also remain employed.

So whether you are contributing to large scale textile recycling company, donating to the Goodwill or selling your unwanted jeans to Crossroads or Buffalo Exchange make sure you are part of the solution and not the problem. We aren’t guaranteed to have this Earth forever and if we aren’t careful we will continue to see serious and rapid decline of our oceans, forests and even the neighborhoods around us. Let’s not take our beautiful Earth for granted!

“50% of textile waste is not biodegradable” -Fashion and Earth

More links on ways you can help and where to donate:

www.dressforsuccess.org

www.patagonia.com

www.bcrglobal.com

www.usagain.com

www.bir.org

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