Specialty Fabrics Review May 2019 - 30

RECYCLE
REPURPOSE

Reclaim
Companies are finding creative ways to
address the growing push toward recycling
and repurposing used fabrics.

I

t's tempting to think that recycling was
"invented" sometime in the late 1960s, but
that would ignore the fact that back in the
11th century, Japan was figuring out ways
to reuse its wastepaper.
Recycling today looks much different than it did
a thousand years ago, of course, due in part to new
challenges from the vast amount-and diversity-
of waste produced in our modern society. But for
all the struggles that remain surrounding the
production and disposal of throwaway consumer
products, a positive development is that our focus
30 REVIEW MAY 2019

on recycling has extended far beyond just what to
do with soda cans or plastic straws.
Fabric, for example. By one account, Americans
throw away more than 70 pounds of textiles per
person per year, and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) estimates only 15 percent
is donated or recycled.
So there is still a lot of work to do. But there
are companies that are meeting the challenge
head-on, in ways big and small, simple and
complex, and making a difference. Here's a
snapshot of the work being done by a few of them.



Specialty Fabrics Review May 2019

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