Recycling is one of the 3R of sustainability. The first two are Reduce and Reuse. Reduce is cutting down on waste. Reuse is making the old things that you are up to throw in use for other work. Recycling is taking the wastes to the waste management system where they will be broken down into raw materials and then turned into something new. Recycle by using waste, prevent the consumption of potential fresh and useful raw materials and observe how recycling can promote sustainability.

Recycling in fashion reduces energy usage, land pollution, water pollution, and air pollution. For this, the garment wastes are collected, then delivered to the recycling center. Those wastes are then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed and then a new product is made from that.

Some people, however, confuse recycling with upcycling. But they are different. Upcycling is taking old or waste things and converting them into a completely unique thing that is of higher value than the old material. Recycling, on the other hand, is converting waste into raw material and then reusing them to create something new. Now, lets discuss about how recycling can promote sustainability…

How recycling can promote sustainability?

The way the fast fashion industry is growing with every passing day is quite harmful to the planet. Fast fashion brings runway styles in the market in no time. The way it does it marketing, makes people buy them.

But the point is fast fashion clothes, due to being made up of low-quality materials, consists less life span. Moreover, due to every day changing trend, one wears a dress just 2 or 3 times and toss them. It makes garment waste in much larger amounts.

As per a survey at the University of Manchester, on average in women’s wardrobe, 12% of clothes remain inactive.

They use buy it for the sake of trend but never wear them. After some time, the clothes without even once used, end up being a waste.

Studies show that globally, around 92 million tonnes of garment wastes are just dumped into landfills each year.

By 2030, it is expected that 134 million tonnes of textiles will be discarded a year.

According to stats, the fashion industry releases 10% of all greenhouse gas into the atmosphere and is also responsible for 20% of global water waste.

This amount of waste is just discarded into landfills. When recycling will be taken seriously, the landfill will be reduced. Plus the pressure on valuable resources like, biodiversity, water, environment, etc., also reduces.

Globally, an estimation of 56 million tonnes of garments is bought each year. However, only 12% of the material is recycled.

The reason is most of the clothes are made up of combinations of fixtures, fibers, man-made filaments, metals, and plastics. They usually are not suitable for reuse.

So, for promoting recycling, the fashion industry firstly has to focus on the manufacturing process and have to use sustainable raw materials for the garments’ formation.

Benefits to consider with Recycling-

Reduce Greenhouse gases

Green House Gases list

When clothes are considered waste and tossed out, they end up in landfills. There, due to lack of oxygen, decomposition of clothes takes place through anaerobic digestion.

In this process, microorganisms break down the materials and produce methane as a by-product. As we know, wastes are in million tonnes, so methane is also released in that proportion, which then released into the atmosphere slowly. This process harms the air quality and causes air pollution.

But with recycling we can observe how it can promotes sustainability by reducing the waste, in return, the methane production will reduce, and hence, our planet will be safe.

Save Landfill space

landfills filled with garbage

In 2017, around 11,150 tons of textiles were landfilled, as per stats.

When recycling is considered, the waste is reduced. So, the landfilling space is reduced. Plus the space that is saved, can be used for making something much more beneficial for the community.

This process also reduces landfilling costs for cities. The cities can use that budget in any other place which benefits people and the country.

Reduce costly consumerism


In today’s time, people are talking about the minimalist lifestyle. The first step is to start with making a conscious choice of clothing. Fast fashion makes consumers buy the garments by offering them the clothes at a considerably lower rate.

But when one will buy recycled clothes, or they recycle their clothes by themselves and buy fewer garments, they go for an alternative to costly consumerism.

Save vital energy

Save energy

The process of making clothes from fresh raw materials uses a high amount of energy. Every clothing formation requires a high amount of water and other energy resources.

But by simply, considering recycling, one can ease the pressure built on natural resources and can reduce the waste as well.

Help the needy

One can contribute to recycling by giving the clothes and other things that they do not use to any organization or NGO. They make those stuff distributed to the needed one.

Recycling is a simple way

Recycling can be done by giving the clothes to the needed ones. When you toss the clothes and throw them into waste, it only uses landfill space. But donating it can help other people. Just contact any organization and donate them the clothes and other objects. But you need to check once about the process that they follow to recycle the items and see for yourself how recycling can promote sustainability

What are the ways to recycling?

  • For recycling, one can sell the clothes at a discount to other people. There are several ways by which one can do that. For instance- Garage sale, thrift, eBay, etc.
  • Clothing waste can also be collected and transported to developing countries where it can recycle and transferred into a new item.
  • Donating clothes is also one of the best ways to recycle clothes and it will help the needed people as well.
  • Old clothes can also be given a new look with some crafting work. It will increase the life span of that cloth.
  • One can also use the old clothes for some household work. Like they can cut them into pieces and can use for cleaning purposes.

Also read: Upcycling vs Recycling

Above are just a few ways about how recycling can promote sustainability. There are a lot of other ways to recycle the stuff. One can search online and can prefer that. By following this process, we can save our planet and can create a personal impact on the fashion industry.

If you have ever done recycling, then do let us know your thoughts and experience in the comment section below.

3 thoughts on “Recycling- How it promotes sustainability

  1. Pingback: Upcycling vs Recycling - Best ways for achieving a sustainable lifestyle

  2. Pingback: Upcycling in fashion- A creative way for sustainable fashion - Suscin

  3. Pingback: Top 7 Benefits of Upcycling- Alternative of bulk buying - Suscin

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