No matter what side of the Atlantic you represent, the extent of personal textile waste is staggering. One battle that both Brits and Americans are losing is the battle against textile waste. Learn why it’s time for a textile recycling revolution.
- The average lifetime of a piece of clothing is only about 3 years.
- The consumer is the biggest culprit. In the U.S., 75 percent of pre-consumer textile waste is recycled by manufacturers, but only 15 percent of post-consumer textile waste is recycled.
- The average American throws away about 70 pounds of clothing, shoes and other household textiles each year.
- Americans generate almost 13 million tons of textile waste per year. Brits generate about 1.12 million tons of textile waste a year.
- Even though the U.K. appears to generate less textile waste, one in five Brits admit to throwing away a garment after a single wear. This means that more than $127 million of clothing winds up in landfills each year after being worn once. (One in five Brits also think that light sabers exist.)
- One in four American women own seven pairs of jeans, but only wear four of them regularly. (One in four Americans also don’t know what nation the U.S. declared independence from.)
- The U.S. textile recycling industry creates around 17,000 jobs and removes 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile product from waste stream each year.
- Over 70 percent of the world’s population uses secondhand clothes.
By placing drop boxes for used clothes across the country, USAgain has saved over 480 million items of clothing from landfills, and they aren’t stopping there. Make a change in your own life by depositing reusable clothes, shoes and household textile in a USAgain dropbox near you.