Filthy Rebena understands that our customers already have a conscious idea of how careless the apparel and textile industry presently is. They know the industry is a bloated monster that wastefully uses natural resources, emits toxic chemicals and is dependent on landfills. Instead of bombarding you with depressing global warming information we present you with a handful of rad facts to open your mind to recycling textiles. Filthy Rebena feels that recycling clothing is our social responsibility. Our hope is that this article will help promote a greener planet by shedding light on the most wonderful part of reclaiming vintage: recycling. Next time you are tempted to toss a pile of worn out clothing down the incinerator, embrace the idea of recycling as it will affect generations to come. Together we can make a difference!
Why Recycling is Cool
– The US dollar is made of 80% recycled cotton. You are spending your old jeans! (1)
– Recycling textiles saves 15 times the energy needed to incinerate them. (2)
– Even if items seem to worn out to be used by anyone, donating them to Goodwill or Salvation Army ensures they will be passed on to recycling facilities where they become mixed rags, carpets or insulating material. These organizations recycle over 12 million pounds of worn out textiles every year. (3)
– Below is a photograph from a typical recycling facility. Items are sorted into alike categories such as material, color or style of garment. Once sorted, bulk items are turned into something new. The clothes in the photograph will be re-born as either carpeting or mixed rags.
– Recycling facilities are small, family-owned businesses, with fewer than 500 employees. The industry employs approximately 10,000 semi-skilled workers at the primary processing level, and creates an additional 7,000 jobs at the final processing stage. Annual gross sales in the textile recycling industry are $700 million. (4)
– 70% of your old donated jeans are being used as cloths to wipe oil off of engine parts. (5)
– Below is what the textile recycling industry calls a “Bale”. This bale contains white cotton shirts that have been cut into rags. The bales are sold to paint stores, machine shops, auto shops, government and the cleaning industry.
– The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 97% of post-consumer textile waste is recyclable. (6)
– Recycling has tons of incentives! Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading will give you cash or store credit in exchange for the clothes they buy from you. Both Goodwill and Salvation Army offer tax forms that you can file for tax deductions.
– Textile recycling requires less energy than any other type of recycling. Textile recycling does not create any new hazardous waste or harmful by-products. (6)