In a world where so much of our comestible items are recyclable, such as plastic, cardboard, textiles remain the anomaly. With so many clothing items thrown away to the landfill, there is growing concern over how to stop the 'clog.' Thankfully, while recycling textiles is tricky, some startups are working hard to change the future.
Why is Recycling Textiles So Difficult?
Statistics surrounding wasted clothing show that around 85% of US textiles went to waste in 2017 alone. That means clothing either went to a landfill or was burned. That, according to reports, equates to around 37kg of clothing per American citizen every year. However, recycling textiles isn't easy.
It largely boils down to materials used in the making of clothing. In some cases, clothes use fossil fuels – which, of course, are non-renewable. The added issue is that fashion always rolls around. This means that there will always be clothing items thrown away in the short term that clog up landfills.
Crucially, many items of clothing barely last a few years of use. That's why there is such a concern surrounding textile landfills. It's also why there is a raft of startups aiming to bring renewable resources into clothing production.
What are US Startups Doing to Help?
Innovators across the US and worldwide are working hard to create recyclable clothing items. This many hope will reduce the impact on current landfill situations. It is also clear that many non-recyclable clothes are burned up, creating emissions.
Such ventures working hard to change the game include Natural Fiber Welding. NFW produces technology used to create textile from plants. This effectively means clothing producers using their products only ever create natural lines.
Circ is a different type of venture that actively recycles existing textiles. The company actively breaks down material with water solvent. Effectively, they create a pulp that can break down previously unrecyclable material for reuse again and again.
Sustainable Composites is a company that's continuing to grow strong. This firm specializes in creating material specifically from wasted or thrown away leather. The products they produce are leather fiber, offering a completely responsible clothing and accessory platform.
Finally, FabScrap is a US venture actively working with the fashion industry. This brand seeks out unwanted material from fashion lines as well as sells on unwanted textiles. They are active in the sourcing and reusing of a variety of different materials.
As you can see, there are various efforts underway to help make textiles more eco-friendly. Whether that is helping the fashion industry or opening up recycling avenues, it is a growing industry.
The Future of Eco-Textiles
Textiles will, hopefully, not be 'unrecyclable' for much longer. While it may take some time for clothing brands to cotton on, it's safe to say there are innovators hard at work.
Any innovators who wish to learn more about the movement may find new sources of inspiration online. For example, the next big eco-textile startups may be waiting for contact through databases such as Fundz.