BEL AIR, Md. — June 30, 2014 — Three leading international recycling organizations gathered in Miami, Florida for the first-ever international conference on the used clothing recycling industry. Nearly 100 members of the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), the Bureau of International Recycling’s Textiles Division (BIR), and the Council for Textile Recycling (CTR) held the first International Textile Recycling Summit (ITRS) at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach. Conference attendees were there to discuss industry trends, concerns, and emerging markets.
The three organizations represent for-profit textile recycling companies, non-profit organizations involved in textile recycling, apparel manufacturers, representatives from academia, and governmental agencies, all of which are focused on recycling, especially used clothing and textiles.
In addition to the conference seminars and panel discussions the organizations presented the Leadership in Sustainable Apparel – Recycling Innovator Award to Cotton Inc. for their Blue Jeans Go Green© program. Blue Jeans Go Green© Co-director of Strategic Alliances, Marissa Barlin was on-hand to accept the award.
“Blue Jeans Go Green and Cotton Inc. are honored to be the first recipients of this award,” said Barlin. “Since the program began in 2006 the denim collected has not only been used by builders and home-owners, we have also been able to provide grants of the insulation to civic institutions and to Habitat for Humanity programs throughout the U.S.”
Since its inception, Blue Jeans Go Green© has diverted more than 600 tons of denim out of landfills. To date, more than 2-million square feet of Ultratouch© denim home insulation has been generated from the denim recovered by the Blue Jeans go Green© program. Ultratouch© home insulation is manufactured by SMART member-company Bonded Logic of Chandler, AZ.
Barlin says denim of any color, and in any condition, can be converted into home insulation. For information on recycling unwanted denim products go to BlueJeansGoGreen.org.
Panel discussions held during ITRS included discussions of the global sustainability of the clothing industry and reuse and recycling as seen from the perspective of clothing manufacturers and retailers. Other panel discussions focused on the challenges of the core industry of used clothing collection, reclaimed wipers and fiber conversion and global trends, and innovations in the used clothing/textile recycling industry.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent report on municipal solid waste, 20.44 billion pounds of clothing and footwear was discarded in 2012. An additional 2.58 billion pounds of towels, sheets and pillowcases were also thrown away. The 2012 EPA report indicates only 14.4% of clothing and footwear products were recovered (recycled) and only 17.8% of towels, sheets and pillowcases were recovered.1 Of the clothing, footwear, towels, sheets, and pillowcases that were thrown away, SMART estimates 95% of those items could have been reused or recycled.2
1 Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Tables and Figures for 2012. Tables 15 and 16,
2 Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association Media Kit: http://www.smartasn.org/about/SMART_PressKitOnline.pdf
Posted July 1, 2014
Source: Secondary Materials And Recycled Textiles