10 Facts about Clothing Waste


To produce one cotton shirt, it takes about 700 gallons of water. 


Only 2.5 out of 16.9 million tons of textiles* were recycled in 2018. 

95% of textiles* can be recycled, however, they make up the third largest waste, at 16%. 

In 2018, about 7.7% of all municipal waste that ended up in landfills was textiles*, or about 11.3 million tons. 

In New York City alone, more than 400 million pounds of clothes are wasted each year. 


1/5 of clothing items owned by US consumers are unworn. 

Globally, the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions, about 1.2 billion tons each year. 

On average, the US generates about 25 billion pounds of textiles* every year, or about 82 pounds per person. 


Modern clothing has a lifespan of 2-10 years in someone's closet. 

*Textiles include clothing, footwear, accessories, towels, bedding, drapery, etc.