RRS Releases Textile Recovery US Roadmap

June 30, 2020, Ann Arbor, Mich. – Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) announced the release of the Textile Recovery in the U.S.: A Roadmap to Circularity white paper that highlights the current state of textile waste in the U.S. and outlines a future-state system in which textiles are recovered for best and highest use.

Percent change in absolute tons and tons per capita waste generation 2000-2017. RRS analysis of EPA 2017 Facts and Figures.

“Textile waste in the U.S. has increased 78 percent in less than 20 years, while the waste stream as a whole only grew 10 percent in the same time frame,” said Marisa Adler, RRS consultant and lead author of the white paper. “Only 15 percent of textile waste is diverted from landfills. Action is needed to change consumption, reduce the impact on the environment, and develop models to recover these materials.”

The white paper analyzes potential causation of the increasing textile waste issue including fast fashion and fiber composition. A deeper look at the key elements of a sustainable recovery system evaluates collection, processing, end markets, education, policies, and collaborative efforts.

Adler and the RRS team take textile waste to the next step and outline a way forward to build a new textile recovery system that includes facets of recommerce, automated sorting, and mechanical and advanced recycling technologies.

Excerpt from the paper’s preface written by RRS CEO, Jim Frey:

“As evidenced by recent global economic and market disruptions from events like China’s National Sword and COVID-19, the business case for more reliable, transparent, and domestically powered supply chains is stronger than ever. It is critically important that brands, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, consumers, and the emerging textile reuse and recovery value chain come together and take steps forward with the technical, business, and financial resources to get the job done.”

The paper was reviewed by industry leaders including representatives from Worn Again Technologies, Ralph Lauren, IKEA Retail US, Circular Systems, Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) Association, Closed Loop Partners, Tyton BioSciences, and the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

The white paper is available for free download on the RRS website at: https://recycle.com/white-paper-textile-recovery-in-the-us/.




Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, RRS is a sustainability and recycling consulting firm that strives to create a world where resources are managed to maximize economic and social benefit while minimizing environmental harm. The firm has industry professionals, engineers, economists, technical analysts, and communication specialists who share this vision and possess core strengths in materials and recovery, life cycle management, applied sustainable design, and collaborative action development. www.recycle.com

Media Contact: Melissa Radiwon, Marketing Director, mradiwon@recycle.com