Download Textile Recovery in the U.S. White Paper84% of textile waste is sent to landfills at a cost of $3.7 billion.

Did you know, textiles increased in the municipal solid waste stream by a staggering 78% between 2000 and 2017? That is more than double the growth of any other major waste category. During the same time, textile diversion rates remained stagnant at 16%.

A majority of this unprecedented growth in textile waste is driven by fast fashion and consumer behavior. Fashion cycles – from catwalk to retailer – move at lightning speed with multiple cycles per year. Add on the fact that our culture is steeped in rapid consumerism and you end up with disposable clothing.


Evolving Waste Stream

The good news is that per capita waste generation, on a mass basis, has decreased compared to 2000. However, two waste streams with some of the lowest overall recovery rates show the highest increases in per capita generation rates since 2000: textiles (15.5% recovery rate) and plastics (8.3% recovery rate). Clearly, we still have work to do if we are to build a bridge to the circular economy in the U.S.


Textile and Apparel Flows in the U.S.


Thicker Line = Larger Volume
Green = Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose; Red = Incineration; Gray = Landfill

Get Involved

RRS is working with designers, brands, retailers, haulers, municipalities, mechanical and chemical recyclers, advanced recycling technologies, collaborative initiatives, and trade/industry groups. We’re trying to affect change in textile recovery. Below are some of our services related to understanding and improving textile recycling.

Textile Waste Audits & Fiber Characterization Studies Fiber-to-fiber End Market Development
Waste Flow Evaluations & Waste Mapping Sourcing Studies & Feedstock Analyses
Textile MRF Design Economic Feasibility Analyses & Cost Modeling
Sorting Equipment & Sort Testing Value Proposition & Opportunity Statement Development
Bale Specification Development Communications, Outreach & Training

This list is not all inclusive, our research and planning is customized to each client.
Connect with us today to discuss how RRS can help you improve textile recovery.

 Contact RRS for Textile Recovery

Get Informed

Links to RRS textile recovery information/resources: 


Links to industry articles/information: