Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics
The goal of the NCW Community Event is to unite chemists, chemistry students, chemical professionals, sister society chapters (i.e., NOBCChE, SACNAS, AISES, etc.), and their local communities around a common cause or effort.
This year the focus is on reducing the amount of textile waste by rehoming and recycling unwanted clothing and other fabrics. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 85% of the 17 million pounds of textiles produced each year ends up as trash! This has a profound negative environmental impact. It is particularly egregious when according to Helpsy, an estimated 50% of unwanted textiles can be reused and 45% can be either recycled or composted.
- Host a clothing donation drive in coordination with organizations such as Goodwill, Red Cross, Planet Aid, Dress for Success, or another reputable organization.
- Partner with a local charity or community organization that collects coats, kids’ clothes, and work clothes for the unhoused population in your area or for others who are struggling financially.
- Textiles that are too damaged to be worn can be recycled. Look to organizations such as American Textile Recycling Service or Soles4Souls
- Natural-fiber clothing, which are not blended with synthetic fibers can be composted. Remove zippers and buttons and shred the items to prepare them for your compost pile.