Rethinking Textile Waste

Jul 7, 2022  |  11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join us in a conversation with four different businesses - some who create and manage textile waste and others who provide solutions for textile waste here in New Zealand. Our guest speakers highlight the challenges they have with their textile waste, and offer some insight, ideas and pathways on reducing, reusing and recycling instead of sending this valuable resource to landfill.

Hear from speakers:

Global textile waste crises

Textile waste is one of the biggest challenges facing the fashion industry today and a global issue. It’s huge negative environmental and socio-economic consequences are already widespread - including in our charity shops and our landfills.

Approximately 12-15% of textiles are discarded before the garments hit the factory floors, while 25% of garments made remain unsold.

In addition, highly recyclable or compostable materials only represent a nominal share of the overall market.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation A New Textiles Economy Report shows that less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing. While 80% of all second hand clothing is downcycled, exported or landfilled.

It's estimated that globally $500b is lost by clothing and textiles being thrown into landfill.

Should growth continue as expected, total clothing production is predicted to triple by 2050, three times today’s amount.

This challenge brings significant opportunity to transform previously wasted products into new resources and drive progress towards net zero. A report published by the Global Fashion Agenda and McKinsey & Company found that “existing recycling technologies have the potential to drive 80% circularity in the fashion industry if fully scaled.”

At Mindful Fashion our goal is to advance a more circular and sustainable fashion and textiles industry in New Zealand. This event is one step in our journey of exploring pathways to a more circular system for textiles. There are many organisations working on innovative solutions to this issue, the solutions shown about are by no means exhaustive, and we will continue to explore this area.

Find out more about Rethinking Textile Waste:

Textile Solution Providers:

(Collector and Sorter)

Diverting all textile waste from landfill

Accept any textiles, but as their team sorts through all textiles by hand they can only accept clean items.

Can assist with collection anywhere in NZ with freight and recycling simply invoiced together. Can also provide onsite/in-store branded collection bins with monthly collections available in Auckland.

Once textiles are collected, Upparel apply a reuse, repurpose & up-cycle model where resaleable garments/textiles can be either donated to charity partners on your behalf or upcycled to create sustainable products from these traditional textile waste items.

Contact: [email protected]


Accept any textiles in any condition, but must be decommissioned with all hardware removed.

Can collect in Auckland.

Recycled textiles are made into a range of textile products - geotextiles, wadding, felted protective blankets, insulation and underlays.

Wants to work with businesses to develop useful innovative products using textile waste.

Contact: [email protected]

(Collector and Sorter)

An industry collective reducing cotton textile waste in NZ.

LYB accepts 100% cotton from any brand for their circular cotton program.

It accepts 100% cotton jeans, sheets, clothing and textiles from any business in any condition. It also accepts any and all socks (regardless of composition).

Products must be clean. It does not accept any undergarments at this time.

Waste is sent to Europe to be recycled in a fibre-to-fibre chemical recycling process. Old cotton is shredded, turned into a slurry, made into a pulp and then fed back into the textile production chain. This fabric is then used again to make new clothing.

For smaller businesses

Purchase Take Back Box online. Box measures 40 x 40 x 60 cm and fits approximately 12-13kg.

For larger businesses i.e 300kg+ then LYB offer an annual membership.

Contact [email protected]

Have a suggestion on waste solutions in NZ, or know a business working in this area? Let us know!