Americans tend to think of items they purchase as disposable, and when items become damaged or broken, they are thrown in the trash instead of being fixed or reused. Each year, Americans dispose of huge quantities of items in the trash and that trash is then sent to landfills. Ohioans alone disposed of 17.46 tons of waste in 2019 which then ended up in landfills or incinerated (Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, 2021). If more items were recycled, fewer items would be sent to landfills, creating more space, and reducing the chances of harmful chemicals leaking into the surrounding land. One such item that could potentially be recycled but is currently recycled at a low rate is clothing. In the United States, nearly 13 million tons of textiles are thrown away each year, which accounts for almost 9 percent of non-recycled waste (Frazee, 2016). Fast fashion is essentially a case of planned obsolescence, as fashion designers and companies frequently change designs and styles, causing consumers to want to purchase more clothing to keep up with the trends, even when old clothing is not worn out (Frigato & Santos-Arteaga, 2016). Many clothing items could be recycled in one way or another, reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, lessening the use of water, and reducing the amount of energy required to create new garments (Robertson, 2014, p. 275).
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Student Papers in Local and Global Regional Economies
(2021). Recycling Fashion. .