The Challenge: Create Less Fabric Waste


Of the 100 billion garments produced each year, 92 million tons end up in landfills. To put things in perspective, this means that the equivalent of a garbage truck full of clothes ends up on landfill sites every second. In America alone, an estimated 11.3 million tons of textile waste – equivalent to 85% of all textiles – end up in landfills on a yearly basis. That’s equivalent to approximately 81.5 pounds per person per year and around 2,150 pieces per second countrywide.

The throwaway culture has worsened progressively over the years. At present, many items are worn only seven to ten times before being tossed. That’s a decline of more than 35% in just 15 years.

Dying and finishing – the processes by which color and other chemicals are applied to fabrics – are responsible for 3% of global CO2 emissions as well as over 20% of global water pollution. Nearly 10% of microplastics dispersed in the ocean each year come from textiles. Globally, just 12% of the material used for clothing ends up being recycled. The amount of water needed to produce one t-shirt is the equivalent to the amount of water one person needs to drink over a period 900 days!*



While there’s no escaping the need for clothing, or the desire to look clean, presentable, and moderately fashionable, there are ways to lessen the impact of our fashion choices.

  • Shop Second-Hand: The majority of the damage done by the clothing industry is in the production of new clothing and the quickness to dispose said clothing. Luckily, everything old is new again when it comes to fashion. So think about including vintage shops and second-hand stores in your clothes shopping.
  • Mend Instead of Toss: In our disposable culture, we’ve seemed to have forgotten the very simple things that were commonplace with our parents and grandparents. They didn’t throw away a piece of clothing because it had a hole in, the fixed it with some thread and sewing needle (or a patch when necessary).
  • Upcycle: Take an outdated piece of clothing and alter it into something exciting.
  • Donate Unwanted Clothing: Clothing in good condition can be donated to a number of community organizations. However, clothing in poor condition should not be donated.
  • Participate in a Clothing Swap: As anyone with older siblings knows, hand-me-downs are a legitimate way to re-use clothes and extend their lifespan. This is especially easy, and valuable when it comes to children’s clothing, but it can also hold true for adults and teens.  Organize a clothing swap in your neighborhood and you’ll be surprised at what you discover.
  • Turn Old Clothing into DIY Costumes: Don’t buy new Halloween costumes this year, take old clothing, or thrift shop clothing to make costumes.
  • Get One Final Use: Clothing that can’t be repaired or repurposed for wear can be used for rags, pet bedding, garden ties, and more.


In the spirit of the Sustainability Challenge and the upcoming season full of holidays and parties, we are hosting a costume and fancy-dress contest!  All outfits must be made from either second-hand items or upcycled clothing already owned.

Winners in each category receive a $50 gift certificate to Rewind Kingston!

Complete details here.

Green Clothing

*Igini, M. (2022, November 18). 10 stunning fast fashion waste statistics. Earth.Org. Retrieved December 22, 2022, from,landfills%20on%20a%20yearly%20basis.