Textile Waste

With fast fashion on the rise, textile consumption has been steadily increasing, leaving many wondering what happens to our clothes once we’re done with them? In 2018 Americans generated 17 million tons of textile waste, an average of 81 lbs per person. Out of that waste, 11.3 million tons were landfilled, and 2.5 million were recycled. With textile waste – and recycling – growing, NRC has received grant funds from the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy for 2023 to produce a report on the state of textile recycling in Nebraska.


Textile Waste Management line graph, 1960-2018, with recycled, composted, combustion and landfilled textiles increasing as time passes


In 2023 NRC:

  • Hosted an Earth Day Clothing Swap
  • Will compile data on current recycling methods
  • Will conduct interviews with experts and stakeholders
  • Produced a report on the state of textile recycling in Nebraska
Always avoid overconsumption and fast fashion, Repair and upcycle what you already have, swap clothes with friends, family, or community event, buy second hand, buy high quality clothing from ethical brands, support responsible recycling and research

Interested in talking with NRC about textile waste?

Contact Program Director Maddie Ferber ([email protected])


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