Textile and Fabric Recycling

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Rosenstiel School Upcycles Textiles

Old clothing, fabric scraps, towels, ripped and/or stained cloths, and jeans are just some of the textiles that our community upcycles! These unwanted items can be dropped off in the bin located inside North Grovesnor by the stairs (the bin is black and has an image of the Earth on it). The Sustainability Initiative then brings these items to the Scott Rakow Youth Center at 2700 Sheridan Avenue. Then, these textiles are upcycled into carpet padding, furniture stuffing, and insulation. 

What’s the need?

People buy 20 billion pieces of clothing per year, roughly 68 garments per person.

The average US citizen throws away an estimated 70 lbs worth of textile waste annually. Recycling 2.3 million tons of clothing per year is equivalent to removing 1.3 million cars from the road.

P.S. Old textiles can also make great rags.

Want to switch up your wardrobe?

Do you have clothes you no longer wear? Bags, shoes, accessories? If so, you may be interested in a Clothing Swap!

The Sustainability Initiative held two clothing swaps in fall of 2022 - a back to school clothing swap and an end of semester clothing swap. Donated clothes were collected for a few weeks and then a clothing swap was held where any Rosenstiel community member could make a new outfit for free. Remaining clothing was donated to the Lotus House Women’s Shelter.

Fast-fashion is one of the most socially and environmentally harmful industries in the world, with nearly 2.1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions coming from the fast fashion sector (~4% of the global total) and 100 billion clothing items being produced every year. “Slow-fashion” advocates for more ethical labor practices and environmentally sustainable product development and distribution. Clothing Swaps are a great way to participate in slow fashion! Learn more about the harmful impacts of fast fashion here