You are on page 1of 14


1) Introduction
2) Process
2.1) Textile Waste Recycling
2.2) The Fibre Consumption
2.3) Materials in Textile
2.4) Textile waste strategy and its Environmental impacts
2.5) The Recycling Process
3) Recycled Textiles in the Market
4) Textile Recycling and Consumer behaviour and awareness
5) Conclusion
6) References

1) Introduction:
Today, in the world of modern technologies, the demand for production is increasing so
rapidly in all aspects of the required living commodities. In order to meet all the required
demands, over production and utilization of all resources seem not enough. Thus increasingly
demand for production is leading to global warming in the use of chemicals and other fossil
fuels. Therefore, the increasing demand for textile making huge clothing production is not
only based on demand for more population but its also changing new fashion habits as well.
The problem is not for cheap or expensive clothing, but the problem is the working
conditions and the standard earning of the people, those who are working in these sectors
especially in developing world. Since, today the world is fully aware of global warming
issues, which is affecting our environment and causes more problems regarding to CO2 in our
space. Today, we need more concern to Renewable energy and recycling processes, in order
to utilize resources in efficient way. In addition to that material waste, re-use and recycling is
the integral part for utilization these resources, environmental protection and recycling
products are necessary to deal with. ( )
There is legislation available for other types of waste in the source of handling all kinds of
solid, bio and electrical wastes. These rules are made and protected for the consumer and
waste handling companies under the origin of the country. When we talk about textile
recycling process, the main focus comes to energy sources which are utilized in the process
of textile recycling. Therefore, there are few resources which have to utilize efficiently while
environmental issues and economic issues taking into account therefore reducing CO2 and
Implementation of best recycling technologies, in order to make recycling process more
precise. Therefore, companies need to more collaborate with each others from raw material to
recycling process, from transportation to collecting points. Meanwhile, the increasing future
challenges and rapidly increasing, the awareness of environmental issues and economic
issues, people from different background like, manufacturer, customers, sellers and private
governance, they have developed and made a new trend in recycling technologies. Today,
many countries in the world are already using the best technologies under all perspectives
from raw material to waste to generating new products. ( )
Apart from that a basic survey was conducted by researcher in order to understand
persistence of awareness amongst commoners for recycling, reusing and reducing
consumption of products. Questions were planned to discern practice of above discussed
concept amongst them since awareness towards recycling and practicing it are all together
different aspects.

2) Process:
2.1) Textile Waste Recycling
Textile Waste recycling is the process to take into reuse all kind of recyclable material, from
material making different types of products for customers use. Furthermore, waste is the
process to dispose of or destroy the things which are not in use or we do not need them
anymore. Textile waste recycling is the process which tends to recycle clothes and make new
clothes to reuse in the different form of other products and the same kind of clothes
depending on the nature and substance and type of recyclable. At the moment, in order to
increase demand and textile recycling is the best and efficient way to develop new products
under sustainability.
There are different techniques to recycle textile waste; one is based on post consumer
textiles, where the resources are used at minimal level, like energy and raw material.
Therefore, post consumer is the technique where only 4 to 6 percent of total residual waste
can is generated which is minimal compare to producing new products, in the post consumer
textile includes clothes, towels, blanket, rags, socks curtains and shoes, table clothes and bed
sheets. Similar there are other type of techniques as well for example, pre consumer materials
and chippings and cuttings are the efficient methods. Moreover, in the post consumer material
are included such waste which is generated from processing apparels, textile manufacturing
process, knitting and nonwoven materials are included. On the other hand, chippings and
cuttings are also one of the huge amounts of textile waste; this kind of waste is generated at
the time of finalizing products scrap material. Thus, there are different types of materials
needed to be recycled but the mostly single component fibre will be more feasible to recycle
under the minimum process at low level processing prices.

2.2) The Fibres Consumption

Since, the population and rapidly increasing demand in clothing and fashion has made much
other impact on the consumer and fashion behaviour. Today, at the time of buying clothing
like, garments and other textile products customers do not pay attention about labelling and
other product raw material from where product has been made. This is the simple and easy
way to just select the desired types and fashionable clothings with displayed prices.
According to The fiber year 2009/10 (2010), the demand for major natural fiber has
increased so rapidly from 52.6 million tons in 2000 to 70.5 million tons in 2010. The
increasing demand of annual fiber is the rate of 3.3% in a decade.

Table1: Fibre consumption In The World

2.3) Materials in Textile

There are different materials, which are used in the processing and making different kind of
clothes and garments. At the time of processing materials accurate processing time at each
stage is necessary, the basics sources of material are being used in the textile are fibbers,
cotton, wool and polyester. These materials are first hand used. Therefore, it is said that the
average growth rate of end- use textile fibre consumption has decreased over the last three
decades. The main reason behind of this is the developing recycling textile technologies and
the awareness of sustainability and other impact like, environmental and scale of economies.
It is estimated that the total life time cycle of products in textile made of recyclable material,
is approximately 3 years. The main reason behind of it are the following, waste can be out of
fashion, broken, discolour and size, most of these textile waste goes as a charity. And the
remaining goes to landfill or on the other hand they are collected in the recycling facilities in
order to recycle all sorts of materials. For example, in UK, it is estimated that around 1.5 to 2
million tonnes of clothing and other sort of textile are discarded annually, the total amount of
textile waste which is recycled in the UK, is about 16% and rest of the textile waste is going
to landfill.

2.4) Textile waste strategy and its Environmental impacts

Today, with the development of technological advancement, and applying services
technologies in the textile waste management there are a number of strategies that can be
implemented, in order to make textile sustainable and environmental friendly. Thus, the
implementation of 4Rs is the most common way to approach textile waste management. In
the past, it was 3Rs, but later on, with the help of research and development 3Rs came into
new existence. In these days, it is called the 4Rs.Therefore, the purpose of applying 4Rs
managing recycling technologies and making textile waste management more efficient 4Rs is
important to use in recycling.


The term reduce is used, in order to reduced waste and waste generating activities, at the
same time to decrease the total consumption of energy on the reducing the total flow of over
production and over processing, in which also effect on the environment in addition to this
protecting and making our environment friendly for human on this planet.

As it is mentioned in the previous strategy of 4Rs, it is possible to reduced raw material from
production process. In order to reuse the raw material, it is also possible to reduce the waste
that comes at the end of products.

Over wastes control

It is said, over waste and unnecessary waste can be controlled which comes from over
processing and using the raw material in excessive way. That leads in the end over wastes and
there is no use of it after the product is completed.
The recycling process of textile waste, take a place in different forms, distribution channels
and other resources which are utilized such as, resale, redistribution and online shops which
sale second hand products. Like, Amazon and ebay are the good example of using the
informal reuse.

Today, the technology has changed the way to business for organizations. Recycling
technology is not new invention, but this is the oldest system of recycling among other
processes of productions. Therefore, it is estimated that it was last time when the recycling
technology was improved about 200 years ago. The separating methods of fibre and fabric
have not changed. There are basic fundamental of textile recycling such as, reclaiming fibre,
shredding fabric and re-spinning in the yarn. Other mechanical methods are also used in the
fibres processing chemically; most of these fibres are included like, polyester, nylon and
polypropylene. The basic processing idea behind of this involves in order to breaking down
the fibre into different integrated form and then re-polymerising the feedback and in the end it
tends to predict most accurately quality of fibres. The main reason to process it chemically is
to treat the natural content out of mixed material, the processing of dying make enables
natural fibre can be reused.

Carpet Recycling
According to the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) located in Dalton, and other organizations
which are working in the related field of carpet recycling, they say that carpet can be
refurbished, on the other hand some organizations claims that the life of carpet can be
extended, repair the tiles of carpet and reclaim extend the durability and life time of carpet. In
order to do so, there are technologies available in order to recycle used carpets into closedloop recycling system.


The term repair is well known and widely used in every type of process. The repair concept
in textile waste management has been used, since long time from generation to generation.
Thus, repair can be used at homes privately or it also can be sued as a professionally. Thus,
repair is interconnected to financial and time management while, utilizing small resources
and making life cycle of product prolong.
Combining and integrating the textile waste management create profitable opportunities and
also give green clean technology with less environmental issues. It is said where is demand,
there is business. Recycling textile waste not only has changed the reduced emission of
carbon, but also has changed the habits and way of consumers. In order to give more clear
view of textile waste management social media and other logistics companies affected the
environment while, adapting green technology.

2.5) The Recycling Process

Textile materials for recycling can be classified either as

a by-product from yarn and fabric manufacture for the garment-making and retail
as post-consumer, originating from discarded garments, household items, vehicles,

The recycling processes are usually as follows:

Highly skilled manual sorting is still essential in processing textiles
Textile chopping shear for fibre regeneration

Sorting: collected textiles are manually sorted and graded according to their condition
and the types of fibres used.

Wearable textiles: Shoes and clothes are resold either in the same country of
origin or abroard.

Unwearable textiles: These are sold to the 'flocking' industry for shredding and


Re-sorting: Mills-grade incoming material according to their type and colour. The
colour sorting means no re-dying is needed, saving energy and avoiding pollutants.

Shredding and pulling: Textile materials are shredded or pulled into fibres. Depending
on the end use of the yarn, other fibres may be incorporated.

Carding: The blended mixture is carded to clean and mix the fibres.

Spinning: The yarn is re-spun ready for later weaving or knitting.

In the case of polyester-based materials, the recycling starts by cutting the garments into
small pieces. The shredded fabric is then granulated and turned into polyester chips. The
chips are melted and spun into new filament fibres used to make new polyester fabrics.

The Recycling Process

3) Recycled Textiles in the Market

Common Threads Recycling Programme:

Active wear clothing brand Patagonia is well known for its Common Threads Recycling Program, which
enables customers to send in their old, worn-out garments like fleece sweaters and cotton t-shirts to be
made into new clothing.

Recycled Wool: Aided by modern-day quality controls, the Patagonia wool goes through a
meticulous sorting of materials into color categories prior to shredding. By selecting and
blending colors of dyed wool fabrics and garments, they eliminate the dyeing process, saving
water and chemicals and eliminating the resulting wastewater.
Recycled Polyester: recycled used soda bottles, unusable manufacturing waste and worn-out
garments are converted into polyester fibers to produce clothing like shell jackets, board
shorts and fleece.

Founded in 1998 by Anshu Gupta, the GOONJ project collects unused clothing from all over
India to then recycle the materials to provide clothes, sanitary and many other basic amenities
to people living in poorer communities across the country.

The 300+ volunteers and mass participation of housewives, professionals, schools, colleges,
corporates, exporters, hotels and hospitals behind the recycling and distribution center help to
send out over 20,000 kgs of recycled waste materials every single month.

Collected clothes for recycling

Tara St James
Brooklyn-based designer ,previously of mainstream eco-friendly sportswear label Covet,
creates city-friendly pieces often with trompe l'oeil details and quirky-cool prints. Uses
organic cotton, linen, hand-dyed fabrics and recycled materials. Strives for no-waste patternmaking and production, and makes everything locally in New York.

Jindal Woollen

Clothes made of Recycled cotton

Sweaters are imported from big countries like America. These sweaters are collected from
old clothing by inspection of labels and hand feel of cashmere by well trained and
experienced personnel. These sweaters are further seperated as per shades and the process of
regenerating fiber is carried out on the material.

The American denim brand is expanding its recycling program to all its US locations,
including its outlet stores. Customers will be able to drop off clean, dry clothing or footwear
from any brand at their nearby Levis. Levis sends all donated clothes to an I:Collect facility,
where the company hand sorts the items into over 300 categories to determine what to do
with them. Items that are wearable will be resold so they continue to be worn. Pieces that

arent wearable will be repurposed, which generally means being shredded and used as
building insulation, cushioning, filling for car seats, or even filling for stuffed animals. Some
will be turned into fibers to be used for new clothing.

'Red-Levi', a teddy bear created from old jeans

4) Textile Recycling and Consumer behaviour and awareness.

Although, Textile Recycling is an age old phenomena, the need of recycling has
only been observed in the past few decades. There is a need to generate to
awareness in people regarding textiles, their wastage and their recycling.
According to a survey conducted on 50 people belonging to various age-groups,
54% of the people continue to use their old clothes and use them as rags. While,
10% of them choose to throw them.

What do you do with your worn out clothes when you no longer need them?


keep them at home

and use them as rags
donate them



throw them

It was also proven that a total of 33% of the total people did not know about the
benefits of recycling textiles.

Are you aware of the benefits of clothing and textile recycling?


Not Really
All of the benefits
Not all the benefits


Graph showing awareness of textile recycling

amongst people

Would you prefer buying recycled products from the market?










It was also shown that almost one-third of the total people would not use
recycled products. Hence it proves that there is a great need to generate
awareness amongst people and the need to prove them that the recycled clothes
are not different from the rest.

It is not that people dont know what is recycling. A lot of people have different
views on recycling.
For instance,
According to Manasi Singh, age 18, Recycling is the basis of closed loop economy. It
means nothing goes out of the system, but stays by getting used in some other form, maybe
with or without processing.
Tanushree Agarwal, age 18, says, Recycling equals reusing.. Textile recycling is using the
used clothes again, by either donating or by using it some other way, instead of throwing
Suman, age, age 29, thinks that textile recycling means using a product after its normal
tenure of usage through modification, alteration, updation, customization, personification
etc., for the greater benefit like waste, space and cost management, beautification, ecofriendliness,etc.

5) Conclusion
The process of recycling textiles is a necessary process. It has been observed that
people are often disconcerted when it comes to buying or wearing recycled clothes.
For them, wearing clothes made from the recycled fabric is for the poor and the needs.
This mindset is what, should be removed. In the era of recycling everyone is equal as
everyone shares the same planet.
Textile recycling should be adopted as it can be a new way to generate employment
both for the literate and illiterate. It also generates a new socially acceptable trade
where people can enjoy high-quality clothes, which most of them could not afford if
they had to buy them new and stop pollution at the same time.