In the UK the value of unused clothing in wardrobes has been estimated at around £30 billion. It is also estimated £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year.
These estimates suggest there is an opportunity for local authorities to divert clothing waste away from disposal by promoting better care for clothing and alternative management options. Local authorities also have a role to play in providing advice on extending the life of clothes through enhanced care, re-use and recycling.
In the USA more than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated each, and the amount has doubled over the last 20 years. In 2014, over 16 million tons of textile waste was generated, according to the U.S. EPA. Of this amount, 10.46 million tons were sent to the landfill.
The average person buys 60 percent more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago, generating a huge amount of waste.
If the average life of clothing was extended by just three months, it would reduce by five to ten percent their carbon and water footprints, as well as waste generation.