Recycling 1 ton of textile waste could save 10 tons of GHG emissions


City and local administration


Financial investors

International policy makers

Textile education professionals

Optimal recycling of 1 ton of textile waste could save 10 tons of CO2 emissions equivalent (Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2015)

The global apparel and footwear purchases are expected to reach 100 million tons by 2030.

Currently, 12-15% of all textiles worldwide are recycled. If we are able to double this by 2030, and get it to about 25%, that would mean a saving of 250 million tons per annum of CO2-eq, which would be about 0.5% of total global GHG emissions - not a bad number.

Perhaps the global textile and fashion industry can set an even more ambitious recycling than 25% by 2030, and that would mean even more valuable savings of GHG emissions.

Some questions that arise are:

  • What are the lowest hanging sectors for textile recycling that can be focussed on during the 2020-2030 period?

  • What technologies or pathways can make a massive increase in textile recycling worldwide a reality?