The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) 2023 Annual Convention in Dubai drew record-breaking attendance of nearly 200 industry leaders from14 countries including the UAE, India and Pakistan. SMART is the leading industry voice promoting high standards and best practices for reuse and recycling of textiles and related secondary materials. Its members reduce solid waste by collecting, reclaiming and “closing the loop” by processing, reusing, converting and distributing these recyclables. SMART is continuously working to educate the public and local government officials about the importance of increasing clothing and textile reuse and recycling.
SMART Executive Director Susan DeCourcey said, “The popularity of the event shows textile industry leaders are serious about innovation advancements that will impact the environment and the economy globally.”
- According to Allied Marketing Research, the global textile recycling market is anticipated to generate nearly $9.4 billion by 2027.
- The US EPA reports that current clothing and textiles recycling has a great impact on reducing greenhouse gases, The latest report estimates the generation of textiles in 2018 was 17 million tons.
- The wiping rag industry has grown substantially since the pandemic which has also expanded the demand for textile materials needed in the cleaning and health industries. Industrial wiping cloths made from recycled textiles also have a significantly smaller carbon footprint than newly manufactured wiping clothes or laundered rags.
International trade is a critical component of the textile industry’s success. More than 60% of recovered textile waste is sent abroad to more than 100 countries, equating to more than 1.4 billion pounds of used clothing – creating hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide. It is crucial our membership work together to help the industry grow. SMART’s President Steve Rees from Wipeco Industries explained, “Our members commitment to supplying multiple market segments in countless geographical areas, speaks to the intrinsic global value that reusing and recycling textiles has. As our trade association continues to grow, we are connecting members to new markets and working to reduce the global textile waste crisis.”
SMART is continuously working to educate the public and local government officials about the importance of increasing clothing and textile reuse and recycling. The benefit of these educational outreach efforts is gaining momentum throughout the nation, including programs in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and most recently, California.
Established in 1932, SMART is a recycling-based, international, nonprofit trade association comprised of for profit used clothing, wiping material and fiber industry companies. SMART members use and convert recycled and secondary materials from used clothing, commercial laundries and nonwoven, off spec material, new mill ends and paper from around the world. SMART companies are committed to the “green” way of life.
SMART Leadership and its members are working to bring textile recycling into a circular economy. SMART members continually trumpet their message to the donating and recycling public by encouraging them to “Donate, Recycle, Don’t Throw Away.”