Textile Waste

Cover of Reducing Textile Waste on Long Island

As many people are starting to minimizing food waste or avoid plastics, another way we can each make a difference is by not throwing usable clothing into the garbage.

Did you know?

  • Nationally, 17 million tons (~85%) of textiles are sent to U.S. landfills or incinerators every year, or around 8% of our trash.
  • In New York alone, residents and businesses toss 1.4 billion pounds of usable and recyclable textiles in the garbage.
  • Globally, the fashion industry generates 10% of greenhouse gases.

"Reducing Textile Waste on Long Island" will help you make the best use of unwanted clothing and find out where our donated clothes actually go.


 You will learn:

    • How to contribute to a sustainable textile cycle, and the environmental and economic reasons why this is important.
    • Which clothing and textiles can be donated for reuse and recycling, and where they go after you donate them.
    • Resources to educate yourself on fast fashion practices and their implications for the planet.

Here's what people are saying:

Tom Abbate, the Executive Director of Society of St. Vincent de Paul and co-sponsor of the paper:

“Donating clothing items to St. Vincent de Paul not only helps the planet, it helps people right here on Long Island. We offer a network of clothing donation bins throughout Long Island.  Clothing is either made available directly to families in need that we are assisting or for sale at affordable prices in our Thrift Stores. The revenue from store sales supports our many programs and over 1,000 volunteers.  It really is a win-win!”

Serge Lazarev of Green Tree textiles recycling, a co-sponsor of the report:

“We want to bring the convenience of textile recycling to the community. We can do this by placing textile recycling receptacles (green bins) in residential buildings, community centers or publicly accessible places. We will work with anybody who is interested in hosting a Green Box.”

Andrea Reyes, Chair of the New York City Fair Trade Coalition which advocates for sustainable and fair textile production:

"Recycling clothing should be the norm. With 150 billion garments produced each year and only worn for an average of 7-12 times, recycling clothing must be part of our everyday recycling routine."

Jane Fasullo, LI Sierra Club:

“The Sierra Club Long Island group is elated to see the problems of resource depletion and garbage creation being addressed by Green Inside and Out, with the issuance of this paper Reducing Textile Waste on Long Island.  This easy-to-read document is a must read by everyone, young and old, rich and poor. Actions taken as a result of people following this advice will make the world a better place for all of us with little or no effort on our part, and with a dollar savings.”