EU exports of used textiles in Europe’s circular economy
Textiles are on average the fourth-highest source of pressure on the environment and climate change from a European consumption perspective, as shown in previous EEA briefings.
Europe faces major challenges managing used textiles, including textiles waste. As reuse and recycling capacities in Europe are limited, a large share of used textiles collected in the EU is traded and exported to Africa and Asia, and their fate is highly uncertain.
The common public perception of used clothing donations as generous gifts to people in need does not fully match reality.
In the course of two decades, there has been a threefold increase in EU used textiles exports