The sportswear industry is booming thanks to the popularity of clothing with names like “Supermodel”, “Coca Cola”, and “Rodeo Barbie”.
But the growing demand for recycled materials, as well as an increasing demand for more sustainable products, is also a factor in the increase in waste recycling and recycling of clothing.
“The majority of these clothes are made from non-biodegradable materials,” said Michael Haggerty, senior vice president of the American Society of Fashion Professionals (ASFPS).
“We’re going to have to make a shift from this current paradigm of going to the landfill and turning the waste into clothing.”
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) in 2015 declared that non-recyclable materials, such as plastic bags, paper towels and paperboard, should be recycled at least 75% of the time.
But while ASTM recommends recycling 100% of plastic bags and paper towels by 2020, the American Sustainable Fashion Coalition says that’s only 80% of its total waste.
In order to get more clothing out of the landfill, manufacturers are now using plastic bag manufacturing to meet that goal.
One of the largest manufacturers of plastic bag factories is U.S.-based Recyclable Industries, which makes plastic bags to make all sorts of other products, including bags for food containers, and also makes disposable clothing.
According to the company, plastic bags account for about half of its global sales.
Another company, Saks Fifth Avenue, makes disposable underwear, with its flagship product, the Maxi Bikini.
And there are other companies that produce disposable clothing as well.
The American Sustainable Fabric Association (ASFA), a trade group representing plastic manufacturers, estimates that the industry generated $20 billion in total sales in 2017.
And while plastic bags are considered to be a major contributor to the production of plastic waste, ASFA also estimates that nearly 75% is recycled.
However, not all companies in the recycling business are following the ASFA’s advice.
According a 2016 survey, nearly two-thirds of the companies surveyed didn’t recycle their waste, either because they didn’t have a recycling program in place or didn’t provide clear and concise guidance on how to do so.
And one-third of respondents said they would rather recycle their clothing than send it to the landfills.
That lack of recycling efforts has resulted in a lot of wasted clothes and clothing products, Haggerts said.
They’re going through it, but I’m not getting rid of it.’ “
I have a couple of cases where I have had customers call me saying, ‘We have a case where our daughter was wearing the clothes in question, and they have told me they have had plastic bags in their house and have asked me to send them to the recycling center.
“It’s not being honest about the environmental and the health impacts.””
The industry’s not necessarily doing it right,” he added.
“It’s not being honest about the environmental and the health impacts.”