Used material can be minimally modified and used for a new purpose. Designers can upcycle an old dress shirt into a women's top or make a tire into artisanal jewelry. Not only does this avoid putting textiles in a landfill, repurposing saves the energy expended in extraction new raw materials from the earth!
Approximately 85% of textile waste ends up in a landfill when a majority of it could be recycled or repurposed.Trash to one is a treasure to another! Many companies are scouring waste dumps for tires, glass, and other salvageable materials to use in the making of their products.
The extraction of raw materials from the earth to create new products is a very energy intensive process. When a t-shirt is thrown in a landfill, the extraordinary amount of energy required to create it goes to waste. Repurposing materials to create new products requires less energy and produces less waste than creating the same product from new raw materials.
It takes approximately 700 gallons of water to make just one conventional cotton t-shirt. That is enough drinking water for an average family for a year.
Making new materials is more expensive than using what you already have. Designers who are using repurposed fabric spend less money on the materials, increasing the value of the product relative to its cost.