Recycling Of Clothes



24 Recycling of clothes


Environmental impact of textile and clothing industry is approximately between 2% and 10% of the EU’s consumption which means a giant share. The sector has a very high energy and water demand, and uses chemicals including pesticides. In addition, the consumers are also responsible for this large environmental footprint, but with consciousness and recycling we can do a lot for the environment.


Textile industry with its yearly 1.2 billion tonnes greenhouse gas emission is among the most pollutant sectors which affects people living in third countries primarily. Production not only consumes large amount of energy and water, but also creates 20% waste from fabric residue. On one hand, the greening of textile and clothing industry is inevitable. On the other hand, citizens have direct effect on the industry actors via their demands, requirements and choices.

Regarding individuals’ habits, we buy more and more clothes due to the influence of fast fashion and low prices and tend to forget about the environmental aspects. Cities should support the collection of textile waste, for example, via waste collector facilities or designates areas.

In fact, the industry uses high volumes of non-renewable materials. Thus, the rate of recycling in the industry is extremely low, only 1% of the used clothes are used for new products due to technological burdens and deficiencies. Therefore, awareness-raising has a key role in decreasing the sector’s ecological footprint by promoting slow and circular fashion, re-use of clothes, collecting and recycling, also taking into account sustainability. Detergent used for washing, high temperature washing, and ironing are also accounted for the environmental impact. Quality products, cleaner processes and consciousness are required from manufacturers and consumers as well besides the necessity of appropriate waste management.