Textile Recycling : A Sustainable Solution To Environmental Pollution

IJEP 41(5): 568-574 : Vol. 41 Issue. 5 (May 2021)

Kanika Agarwal and Seema Sekhri*

University of Delhi, Department of Fabric and Apparel Science, Lady Irwin College, New Delhi, India


The growing population combined with the overall improvement in living standard has resulted in a steady increase in global fabric consumption. The fast-fashion culture has greatly influenced the production of textiles over the last few years. Increasing volumes of textiles are being produced, purchased and disposed of in landfill sites which affect the environment. Textiles present particular problems in landfill as synthetic products do not decompose, while woollen garments decompose and produce methane, which contributes to global warming. Data on textile waste products from different countries of the world is very alarming. India generates around 188.5 million tonnes of municipal solid waste per day and 6% of which is textiles. Textiles are nearly 100% recyclable, thus attention needs to be given to their recycling. The present study aims to understand clothing waste disposal practices followed by young consumers in India. For this purpose, a standardized questionnaire was administered on 384 youth residing in Delhi/NCR. The second objective is to investigate the recycling practices followed by Indian industries. For this, visits were made to the industries at Panipat. The results indicate there is a need to create awareness and encourage youth to adopt sustainable disposal habits.


Fast fashion, Consumers, Disposal, Landfill, Textile recycling


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast fashion.
  2. Bhardwaj, V. and A. Fairhurst. 2010. Fast fashion : Response to changes in the fashion industry. The Int. Review Retail, Distribution and Consumer Res., 20(1):165-173.
  3. Bianchi, C. and G. Birtwistle. 2010. Sell, give away, or donate : An exploratory study of fashion clothing disposal behaviour in two countries. The Int. Review Retail Distribution, Consumer Res., 20(3):353-368.
  4. Byun, S.E. and b. Sternquist. 2011. Fast fashion and in-store hoarding : the drivers, moderator
    and consequences. Clothing Textiles Res. J., 29(3):187-201.
  5. Barnes, L. and G. Lea-Greenwood. 2010. Fast fashion in the retail store environment. Int. J. Retail Distribution Manage., 38 (10):760-772.
  6. Hansen, S. 2012. How zara grew into world’s largest fashiong retailer. www.nytime.com/2012/11/11 /magazine/how-zara-grew-into-the world-largest–fashion retailer html?
  7. McAfee, A., V. Dessain and A. Sjoman. 2004. Zara : IT for fast fashion. Harvard Business School Publishing, Cambridge, Boston, MA.
  8. Sengupta, A., J. Behera and M. Choudhuri. 2014. Environmental safety though recycling of textile-An outlook. Colourage. 6:30-38.
  9. Morley, N., et al. 2006. Clothing recycling and producer responsibility. Working paper. Oakdene Hollins Ltd., Salvation Army Trading Co. Ltd., Nonwovens Innovation Research Institute, Leeds.
  10. CPHEEO. 2016. Manual on MSW. https:///www. sganalytics. com/blog/msw_india-dump-yard-wars.
  11. Agarwal, K. and S. Sekhri. 2016. Textile recyling : Need of the hour. Asian Textiles J., 49-52.
  12. http://www. artal. com/.
  13. http://www. smartasn.org.
  14. http://www. textile-alliance.eu/EN/.
  15. http://www. textile-recyling. org.uk/.
  16. Koch, K. and T. Domina. 2002. Convenience and frequency of recycling : implications for including textiles in curbside recycling programmes. Env. Behaviour. 34(2):216-238.
  17. Hawley, J.M. 2006. Digging for diamonds : A conceptual framework for understanding reclaimed textile products. Clothing Textiles Res. J., 24(3):262-275.
  18. Joung, H.M. and H. Park-Poaps. 2013. Factors motivating and influencing clothing disposal behaviours. Int. J. Consumer Studies. 37(1):105-111.
  19. Birtwistle, G. and C.M. Moore. 2007. Fashion clothing-where does it all end up? Int. J. Retail Distribution Manage., 35(3):210-216.
  20. Norris, L. 2012. Recycling imported second hand textiles in the shoddy mills in Panipat : An overview of the industry, its local impact and implications for the UK trade. http://www.wornclothing. co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Summar-yshoddy.pdf.