Textile Recycling

Textile Recycling

Canadians send 500 million kilograms of textile waste to landfill each year.

Since the 1990s, our consumption habits around clothing have shifted. We are purchasing more clothing than ever before, and we wear them less than a dozen times before discarding. ‘Fast fashion' brands have developed a business model that suits our consumption habits, relying on cheap and speedy production of low-quality clothing. This perpetuates the cycle of over consumption: low quality garments have a short lifespan and get discarded quickly, and the consumer moves on to the next ‘trendy' item.

The environmental impacts of the fashion industry are widespread. Textile production emits 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, dries up water sources, pollutes rivers and streams, and contributes to declining biodiversity. An estimated 85% of all textiles produced each year end up in the landfill. Modern textiles are predominantly made of polyethylene and nylon (types of plastic), which do not biodegrade. Over time, textiles create microscopic plastic pieces called ‘micro fibers' that contaminate even the most remote locations.

The linear model of fashion consumption, where we deplete the Earth's resources to make clothing that ends up in landfill or the environment, is unsustainable.

Learn more about textile waste here and here.


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SicSox Circular

SicSox Circular

Textile recycling offers a promising alternative to sending textile waste to landfill. To increase access to textile recycling in Thunder Bay, EcoSuperior has partnered with SicSox Circular, an Indigenous-led company located in Chapleau, Ontario. SicSox offers a one-of-a-kind textile recycling program that aims to divert unsuable textiles from the landfill and recycle them into usable materials. In their pilot year, they are exploring ways to convert landfill-quality textiles into housing insulation. Gently used textiles are being cleaned and re-sold in their online thrift store.

How can YOU participate? Drop off your used textiles in the bright pink box at the EcoSuperior office. SicSox accepts textiles in all conditions, including clothing, bedding, towels, pillows, shoes, handbags, and stuffed animals.

Visit SicSox Circular's website for more information, or to visit their online thrift store.