Abstract Title

Cotton's Consumer Life Cycle

Abstract

Starting at the point of sale, clothing begins a life-cycle that will consist of wearing, washing, drying, pressing and re-wearing. This life-cycle comes to an end when the consumer chooses a method to discard the worn items. Clothing is usually donated to be reused or recycled, or discarded with other waste that will eventually end up in a landfill. The problem is that the amount of clothing that is actually recycled is only about 15%, compared to the amount that is discarded in landfills, which is about 85%, according to the Council for Textile Recycling (2018). When clothing ends its life in a landfill it never really decomposes. Even clothing made of natural fibers, go through unnatural processes like dying, bleaching, and printing and release the toxins from these processes into the groundwater once they reach the landfill (Wicker, 2017). The purpose of our project is to examine U.S consumers’ disposal habits, and more specifically to examine the competitiveness of cotton in the post-consumer clothing market. Our specific goals to address this problem are to increase the rate of reuse and recycling of cotton and improve clothing disposal habits. Some possible solutions are ease of access and awareness of clothing recycling locations, drop-offs, or pick-ups and getting large corporations to accept old garments in-store for recycling. The benefits of these programs would benefit the environment because less waste would end up in landfills, which would either take years to decompose or would be burned, contributing to ground and air pollution.

Modified Abstract

Starting at the point of sale, clothing begins a life-cycle that will consist of wearing, washing, drying, pressing, re-wearing, and disposal. The problem is that the amount of clothing that is discarded is 5.6x the amount that is recycled. When clothing ends in a landfill it never really decomposes. Even clothing made of natural fibers, release the toxins from unnatural processes into the groundwater. The purpose of our project is to examine U.S consumers’ disposal habits, and to examine the competitiveness of cotton in the apparel market. Specifically, to address this problem is to increase the rate of reuse and recycling of cotton and improve clothing disposal habits. The benefits of this would be benefitting the environment because less waste would end up in landfills.

Research Category

Social Science/Education/Public Health

Primary Author's Major

Fashion Merchandisinig

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Mourad Krifa

Start Date

5-4-2018 1:00 PM

Research Area

Fashion Business | Natural Resources and Conservation | Sustainability

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Apr 5th, 1:00 PM

Cotton's Consumer Life Cycle

Starting at the point of sale, clothing begins a life-cycle that will consist of wearing, washing, drying, pressing and re-wearing. This life-cycle comes to an end when the consumer chooses a method to discard the worn items. Clothing is usually donated to be reused or recycled, or discarded with other waste that will eventually end up in a landfill. The problem is that the amount of clothing that is actually recycled is only about 15%, compared to the amount that is discarded in landfills, which is about 85%, according to the Council for Textile Recycling (2018). When clothing ends its life in a landfill it never really decomposes. Even clothing made of natural fibers, go through unnatural processes like dying, bleaching, and printing and release the toxins from these processes into the groundwater once they reach the landfill (Wicker, 2017). The purpose of our project is to examine U.S consumers’ disposal habits, and more specifically to examine the competitiveness of cotton in the post-consumer clothing market. Our specific goals to address this problem are to increase the rate of reuse and recycling of cotton and improve clothing disposal habits. Some possible solutions are ease of access and awareness of clothing recycling locations, drop-offs, or pick-ups and getting large corporations to accept old garments in-store for recycling. The benefits of these programs would benefit the environment because less waste would end up in landfills, which would either take years to decompose or would be burned, contributing to ground and air pollution.