Skip to main content
Topic Briefs

Sustainable Textiles Management - April 2023

Each year in the United States, over 39 million pounds of textiles such as clothing, sheets, and towels are sent to landfills and incinerators. The rate of production is increasing rapidly, partly due to the rise of “fast fashion” – inexpensive clothing produced quickly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.

While only 15 percent of discarded textiles in the United States is currently collected for reuse, recycling, or downcycling (e.g., shredded for repurposing), a far greater amount could be recovered with improved systems, and a number of solutions for more sustainable management are underway, both state- and countywide.