- The U.S. generates 83.9 lbs. of textiles annually per person. On average, only 10 lbs. per person per year is recycled. Since textile recycling is underutilized, 88 percent of fabrics are sent to landfills.
- The textile recovery rate for suitable reuse or processing into other products is 12%. These textiles can be recycled into different products or materials.
- According to the Environmental Protection Agency, some 12.4 million tons of textiles were generated in 2008. That figure represents five percent of the total municipal solid waste generated. The textile recycling industry works to reduce the flow of waste, which actively prevents two and a half billion pounds of post-consumer waste from reaching the landfills.
- If all available means of reuse and recycling are utilized for textiles, the remaining solid waste that needs to be disposed of can be as low as 5 percent. Some recovered textiles become wiping and polishing cloths. Cotton can be made into rags or form a component for new high-quality paper. Other types of fabric are reprocessed into fibers for car seat stuffing, upholstery, insulation, and even building materials. Buttons and zippers are stripped off for reuse (Environmental Protection Agency).