Post-consumer textile waste includes products like clothing, towels, bedding, footwear and fashion accessories that have already been purchased.

Textile waste is a serious problem resulting in billions of pounds of waste each year. In 1980, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. generated roughly 5 billion pounds of textile waste in the public waste stream. That number shot up considerable in recent years, in 2014 post-consumer textile waste was 32.44 billion pounds. Post-consumer textile waste includes products like clothing, towels, bedding, footwear and fashion accessories that have already been purchased.

Marine Layer has come up with a program to combat textile waste. The company that already makes a sustainable product, their signature fabric is made from recycled beechwood, is kicking it up a notch. Knowing that only 0.1 percent of discarded textiles are recycled, Marine Layer came up with a “revolutionary recycling program that’ll give your old tee a new life.”

Re-Spun by Marine Layer is a program that takes old, worn tees and recycles them into new(ish) tees.

The plan is to create a closed-loop production process.

  1. Step 1: Collect and sort old tees

    Either bring in your worn tees to one of Marine Layer’s stores or mail them directly to Marine Layer. Go to https://www.marinelayer.com/pages/respun click on ‘Get a Free Recycling Kit’ and they will send you a prepaid mailer (made with recycled materials and recyclable). For each tee you will receive a $5 credit up to $25.

    The only material they can’t accept for recycling is activewear fabric because spandex is hard to break down.

  2. Step 2: Break the tees down to the fiber level

    The tees will be sent to Marine Layer’s partner, RecoverTex. They have been recycling textiles since the 1960s.

  3. Step 3: Re-spin the fiber into recycled yarn

    From Marine Layer’s site, “RecoverTex yarns are certified with OEKO-TEX 100 to assure lack of hazardous chemicals, and the Global Recycling Standard to assure recycled content.”

  4. Step 4: Create a new t-shirt

    The new tees will be composed of 50 percent recycled tees and 50 percent recycled plastic. They will have unique colors created by putting different colors of the recycled tees together so that no water or chemicals will be needed to dye the yarn.

To find out more information and get your own Recycling Kit, visit https://www.marinelayer.com/pages/respun.