Environmental Impact of Textiles

Every year, we generate hundreds of millions of tons of used textiles and shoes in the world.

  • In the U.S., over 15 million tons of textile waste is generated each year.
  • In the city of Shanghai alone, we generated approximately 150,000 tons of textile waste in 2015.
  • The pesticides that farmers use to grow cotton harm wildlife, contaminate land and water, and often end up in the food we eat.
  • The World Bank estimates that almost 20% of global industrial water pollution comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles.
  • China is the largest producer of apparels and textiles in the world (up to 65%); millions of tons of unused fabric at Chinese mills go to waste each year.
  • Old clothes that we throw away (more than 90%) take up precious space in landfill sites, which is filling up rapidly, while incineration of these clothes increases air pollution, even though most of that is recyclable.
  • In landfills, the dyes and chemicals in fabric and other components of clothing and shoes leach into the soil, contaminating both surface and groundwater.
  • Meanwhile, decomposing clothing releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas and is a significant contributor to global warming.

Benefits of Clothing Recycling

2b.1 Benefits - Landfill EN

2b.2 Benefits - Incinerators EN

2b.3 Benefits - Cloth Poor EN

2b.4 Benefits - Food EN

2b.5 Benefits - Water EN

2b.6 Benefits - Energy EN

For more information about the Fiber Project, please contact us at fiber@baosquared.com