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In the effort to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, a great deal of energy has been directed towards recycling, driving less, and reducing power plant pollution. In a recent report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identifies textiles as an important source of greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling clothing at current levels is equivalent of taking one million cars off the road each year.

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In addition to recycling glass, plastic, aluminum, and paper, the EPA believes that fabric should become the newest material to be diverted from the landfill. According to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association</a. Americans are only reclaiming 15 percent of clothing from the municipal waste stream. Overall, the EPA estimates that 6.5 percent of trash entering our dumps are textiles than can be recycled. Each year, two million tons of clothing are reclaimed.

SMART states that all clothing that is odor-free and dry is able to be recycled or donated. Clothing can either be gifted to a charity or go directly to a for-profit recycler. More creative minds are encouraged to use scraps and distressed duds for projects that breathe new life into wardrobes, reclaim antique fabrics, and support local craftsmanship. Now, eco-minded fashionistas have an added incentive to cruise secondhand shops and vintage boutiques.

+ Press Release

+ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency