There are many wonderful colleges and universities in close locale to SMART’s headquarters here in Maryland. And, with many colleges and universities, come many dorm rooms and apartments. As the 2018 graduates prepare for their next steps – moving back home with mom and dad or forging a path of their own – I think about all the textiles (any material made of interlacing fibers) – that are left behind or improperly disposed of.
Did you know the average U.S. citizen throws away 81 pounds of clothing each year? Out of this waste, 95 percent could have been recycled, yet only 15 percent actually gets donated or recycled.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I am reflecting on the passion for our planet I witness on a daily basis from SMART’s members and Board of Directors. When it comes to textile reuse and recycling, it takes more than a village – it necessitates a collective international effort, and I am proud to witness the positive impact being made by SMART members on the textile reuse and recycling industry.
‘Tis the season for fun with family and friends, but also for STUFF. As I witness (and participate!) in the holiday shopping hustle, I am reminded of wise words from Henry David Thoreau. He said, “What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”
Thoreau’s insight rings particularly true as we often replace items at home this time of year. From kids wanting the next trend in toys to creating a warm and welcoming ambience for holiday guests, there are so many opportunities to recycle our old textiles!
SMART is thankful for all of the hard work members contribute to the textile recycling industry! SMART members keep approximately 1 billion pounds of textiles out of landfills each year through their collaborative efforts.
You may have heard of SMART’s work to promote textile recycling, but did you know we are an international trade association? Your company can join our diverse membership – our companies are located in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South and Central America, Europe, Asia, and Pacific Rim countries who are involved in every phase of our industry.
In the 46 years since the first Earth Day, Americans have accepted paper, plastic, aluminum and glass as every day recyclables—yet, the second largest recyclable is still underutilized: textiles.
For hundreds of years, people have celebrated February 14th in the name of love by sending cards, chocolates, flowers and more. Each year, Americans spend more and more on elaborate gifts, which hurts not only our wallets, but our environment too.