The fashion industry has to play an important role in the path towards sustainability and the circular economy. Indeed, the fashion industry is a sector with a high environmental impact; it involves a very long and complicated supply chain, which is associated with large consumption of water and energy, use of chemical substances, water and air pollution, waste production and finally microplastic generation. In particular, textiles and clothing waste has become a huge global concern.
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Textile and Fashion Waste Statistics
Clothing waste statistics take us closer to understanding how our fashion habits and the fashion manufacturing processes affect us and the environment. Here are a few notable statistics.
1. The fashion industry accounts for 2% of the world’s GDP
The global fashion apparel industry has surpassed the market size of US$1 trillion since 2013. It now represents nearly 2% of the world’s GDP. On average, 75% of the world’s fashion market is concentrated in Europe, the USA, China, and Japan.
2. The average consumer buys 60% more clothing items every year
On average, a consumer will buy 60% more items of clothing every year. Fashion waste facts also show that consumers are keeping their clothes less and less by the year. Today, people wear clothes for about half as long as they did 15 years ago.
3. Americans spend almost $2,000 on fashion items
The average American household spends nearly $2,000 on apparel, footwear, and related products and services every year.
4. The US produces over 17 million tons of textile waste every year
According to textile waste facts, over 17 million tons of used textile waste are generated annually in the United States. This amount has doubled over the last 20 years.
5. 1 in 2 people throw their clothes in the trash
1 in 2 people throw their unwanted clothes straight in the trash instead of giving away or donating to those who need them. This results in 64% of the total amount of garments produced each year ending up in landfills.
6. Clothes take decades to degrade
Once you throw your clothes in the trash they end up in landfills where they take decades to degrade. In the process, they emit greenhouse gases. Reuse or recycle instead of throwing in the trash.
7. Britons have unworn clothes worth $46.7 billion
According to fashion waste statistics, It is estimated that consumers in the United Kingdom have about $46.7 billion worth of unworn clothes in their closets.
8. If you were to wear your clothes longer, you’d reduce clothing waste by up to 10%
The average total life span of a piece of clothing is 5.4 years. If you were to wear your clothes longer by just three months, you would reduce your carbon and water footprints, as well as waste generation, by five to 10%.
9. Consumers recycle clothes less than manufacturers
Consumers throw away more clothes than manufacturers. Only 15% of consumer-used clothing is recycled, compared to more than 75% of pre-use clothing recycled by manufacturers.
10. The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions
The fashion industry accounts for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. The more we recycle our clothes the less the emissions. According to textile waste statistics, recycling 2.62 million tons of clothing per year would be equal to taking 1.3 million cars from U.S. streets.
11. It takes 5,000 gallons of water to produce just one T-shirt and a pair of jeans
The fashion industry is one of the biggest causes of water pollution and wastage. For instance, it takes more than 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture just a T-shirt and a pair of jeans.
12. Textile industry pays peanuts despite being a multi-dollar industry
Factory workers in the Philippines get the lowest wage in the global textile industry. A worker receives about 88 cents per hour. All stats from https://www.ecofriendlyhabits.com/textile-and-fashion-waste-statistics/