Fashion Industry Waste Statistics

 

Fashion Industry Statistics

  • The global apparel market is valued at 3 trillion dollars, 3,000 billion, and accounts for 2 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).1
  • Almost 75% of the world’s fashion market is concentrated in Europe, USA, China and Japan.2
  • Second to oil, the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world.3
  • The US is the largest importer of garments in the world; nearly 40% of apparel products sold in the US are imported from China.2

Waste

  • It takes more than 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture just a T-shirt and a pair of jeans. 3
  • Textile industry is one of the top 3 water wasting industry in China, discharging over 2.5 billion tons of wastewater every year.2
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 15.1 million tons of textile waste was generated in 2013, of which 12.8 million tons were discarded.
  • About 15% of fabric intended for clothing ends up on the cutting room floor. This  waste rate has been tolerated
    industry-wide for decades.4
  • According to Christina Dean, Redress, waste generated in China is not known, with estimates that China will soon make 50% of the world’s clothing – the indications for textile waste there are mind-blowing.  Daily in Hong Kong, there are 253 tons of textiles sent to landfill.

Recycle

  • Consumers throw away shoes and clothing [versus recycle], an average of 70 pounds per person, annually. 5
  • A few communities have textile recycling programs, about 85% of this waste goes to landfills where it occupies about 5% of landfill space and the amount is growing. 5
  • Up to 95% of the textiles that are land filled each year could be recycled. 7
  • Landfill space is expensive and hard to find. 5
  • Using recycled cotton saves 20,000 liters of water per kilogram of cotton, a water-intensive crop.8

Used Clothing

  • The U. S. is the largest exporter of second hand clothing.  It exports over a billion pounds of used clothing every year.6
  • Over 70% of the world’s population use second hand clothes.7
  • Consumers in the United Kingdom have an estimated $46.7 billion worth of unworn clothes in their closets. 2
Fuel4Fashion | Large bins storing waste cloths
Fuel4Fashion | Large bins storing waste cloths

 

Reference Notes:

  1. https://fashionunited.com/global-fashion-industry-statistics
  2. http://www.business2community.com/fashion-beauty/30-shocking-figures-facts-global-textile-apparel-industry-01222057#hBWEEKFemo8cCM9Q.97
  3. http://www.alternet.org/environment/its-second-dirtiest-thing-world-and-youre-wearing-it
  4. Timo Rissanen, “From 15% to 0: Investigating the creation of fashion without the creation of fabric waste,” Presenter, Kreativ Institut for Design og Teknologi, September 2005.
  5. http://worldwearproject.com/about-us/global-responsibility
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_trade_of_secondhand_clothing
  7. http://www.smartasn.org/ | Secondary Materials and Recycling Textiles [SMART]
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1964887/

Other References: