While it may seem odd, it actually is possible to recycle many types of fabrics. The Council for Textile Recycling (CTR) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping clothes, shoes and other fabrics out of landfills. The group’s goal is to achieve zero-textile waste going to landfills by the year 2037. Doing so takes great efforts to raise awareness of the issue and connect cities with fabric recycling processors. Due to the increased knowledge on the potentials of textile recycling, more and more municipalities are beginning to allow fabric materials to be thrown into the blue bin right alongside the glass jars and plastic milk jugs. The textile recycling process is much like other materials – fabrics are sorted by type, and their destiny becomes clear. This infographic shows where the items you recycled go; nearly half of the clothing, shoes and other materials end up being sent overseas in order to help those in dire need of these things. The rest is shredded and mixed with other fibers to create new items such as carpet padding and home insulation. By the end, only 5 percent of the recycled fabrics end up as waste.
There are lots of different ways to promote fabric recycling. Begin by sorting through any and all clothing, linens and other fabrics in your home that are unwanted. Check to see if your municipality or recycling provider allows the collection of textiles. If not, search for a donation spot. Don’t forget to be creative and see if any of these materials could be of use to you, albeit in a different way than originally intended