The Fiber Side of Textile Recycling

donating clothing and other textile products turns this into this every year more than 25 billion pounds of clothing and textiles are used in the United States however only 15 percent is recycled which means 85 percent or 21 billion pounds goes directly into landfills or incinerators that's the equivalent of 260,000 18-wheelers or 525,000 city buses we rely on companies like goodwill for example if you were to bring your stuff to Goodwill and leave it there they will also ultimately that material that's not used by them to be reused will end up with a clothing sorter the actual consumer that's one good morning to recycle their materials will not have to do any of the sorting for us donating clothing follows one of three paths it is resold in charity thrift shops or in other secondary clothing markets it's cut into wiping cloths or it's converted back to its basic fiber elements ultimately 95% of all donated clothing is recycled in one way or another keeping it out of our landfills fiber conversion companies process millions of pounds of materials every day the trucks actually come in bringing in the raw material whether it's post-industrial waste or it's actual post consumer waste that comes in at the dock and from there we take the material in and we actually grade it so that we actually can identify what type of material it is in what it can be used for fiber companies provide specific blends of materials to their customers which are used to manufacture new products we take the mix and we're gonna drop it into a pre-processing area where we actually will chop it up into manageable sizes and in the grinding process we're going to liberate the hardware from the actual fiber material and it's actually going to be picked up by magnets we collected in bins and will actually depending what is in the bin will try to get that recycled ourselves the material is moved to a giant Thunder box where air keeps it circulating until it's thoroughly mixed from the blender box the material is then conveyed pneumatically into the actual machine where the ripping and the tearing takes place it runs through about six different types of rollers that it goes through until it's all torn up remaining dust is removed from the fibers finally the fluffing material is then flown into the bailing press the fibrous material is bailed wrapped and moved to a finished goods warehouse from there it's shipped to begin its life as a new product there's a large amount of recycled material in automobile whether it's plastic or in fibrous form pillow stuffing is recycled materials dog beds are full of recycled material the stuffing also inside stuffed animals also is is recycled material typically one interesting new product being made from recycled blue jeans is home insulation fiber companies use both post-industrial and post consumer denim to create home insulation the material is treated prior to installation to improve flame and moisture resistance the loop for us is really from use it try to reuse it and if you can't reuse it then let's let's turn it back into a raw material so that we can actually use it in another product but it doesn't go to landfill you


  1. Lorraine Williams

    That message at the end really should be edited out. The website says you cannot provide the locations of textile recycling centers.

    Further your site says to take unsalable clothes to places like Goodwill and Salvation Army, both of which only take salable clothing.

    The video being out of date is forgivable; it is 5 years old, but your site being incorrect is not cool at all.

  2. Takirua Lyon

    wow I think this is very good to apply in my country in kiribati just because there is no recycling company like your company if you want to contact me for further explanation

  3. Karen Cremin

    Please post on your site a list of bin locations and organizations which recycle clothing that is not suitable for local resale.  The closest place I found through your website is miles away from north San Diego county.  I called the local places I normally take clothing for resale, and they just throw things away if they cannot sell them.  Your website seems geared for people who want to "fight for the cause"  not just someone who wants to find a place to drop off their old worn out jeans instead of putting them in the trash.


    756 S Military Trail Deerfield Beach Fl 33442

    We have available Credential  Clothing in original donations bags Mixed Rags institutional, and used Shoes. by container of 40 H.C we can fit 50,000 thousand pound in the container or 25,000 Kg. we have available ongoing. pay today Shipping next Day. We are in the market for more than 20 years with more than 50,000  customers around the Globe.

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  5. Positive Apparel

    Our company is currently diverting 20 tons of used textiles per month. At present we are sending to a sorter who in turn sends it to be milled. Our hope is to start milling it locally, creating jobs and reducing the carbon footprint further.

  6. Hanako Fairhall

    I hardly ever see anything like this in Canada, much less in my part of Canada, I wish more countries would do this, or that we would join the majority(?) that have started doing this already.


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