Drivers of Sustainable Textile Recycling

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Drivers of Sustainable Textile Recycling

Category: Business

Subcategory: Design

Level: PhD

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Drivers of Sustainable Textile Recycling: Literature Review

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Drivers of Sustainable Textile Recycling: Literature Review
According to Mwanza and Mbohwa (2017), in textile recycling and relative solid waste management frameworks, sustainability prevails as an aspect of development. More so, it alludes to the utilization of resources among future generations making it essential to highlight the primary drivers of sustainable textile recycling. Firstly, the perception of waste as a resource prevails as an economic driver of sustainability. Therefore, it acts as the foundation for introducing and implementing comprehensive recycling programs for sustainable development (Mwanza & Mbohwa, 2017; Moktadir et al., 2018; Snadvik, 2017; Cordoba & Veshagh, 2013; Newell, 2015). Still, Moktadir et al. (2018) explicate further by highlighting knowledge about the circular economy of waste management systems and increase awareness among consumers as drivers of sustainable manufacturing practices. Typically, the companies and other parties engaging in textile recycling need to ‘think circularly’ for sustainability; however, this driver only focuses on a singular dimension of an extensive realm (Watson et al., 2017; Köhler et al., 2011; Sandvil, 2017; Moktadir et al., 2018; Kim & Kim, 2016).
The environmental aspect of textile recycling plays a large and equally significant role in the realization of sustainability (Whitty, 2015; Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2018; Cuc et al., 2015; Rosen & Kishawy, 2012). Comprehension of the detrimental effects that the different materials in the textile industry can have on the environment forms the foundation for sustainable development through informed and well-planned recycling (Strahle & Muller, 2017; Hotta & Aoki-Suzuki, 2014; Cordoba & Veshagh, 2013). Significantly, environmental protection prevails as a key driver of sustainability in the recycling of textiles, particularly through the maintenance of eco-friendly practices. Muthu (2016), Newell (2015), and Bhowmik (2013) also affirm that the competitiveness existing in the textile industry instigates the need for companies to remain environmentally responsible for survival.
Multiple authors identify leadership and quality management as drivers of sustainable development, especially given the nature of the textile recycling business as a circular economy (Ozturk et al., 2016; Moktadir et al., 2018; Strahle & Muller, 2018; Retail Forum for Sustainability, 2013). Moktadir et al. (2018) state that commitment from the top management, mainly in overseeing the recycling practices and process acts as the foundation for the formulation of bold strategies that additionally contribute to the preservation of a sustainable manufacturing setting. On the other hand, Strahle and Muller (2018) note that quality management applies in the improvement of operational productivity, provision of a competitive advantage, assurance of better value for consumers, and development of concrete inter-organization relationships among organizations focusing on textile recycling. Therefore, commitment and coherence from top-level leaders and managers act a driver for sustainability in all manufacturing practices of the textile industry including recycling.
In one of the most recently conducted studies on the subject, Maktadir et al. (2018) identify government support and legislation as a significant driver of sustainability in the Bangladesh textile industry. The type of regulation level by governments, particularly the laws on recycling materials and packaging act as the foundation for sustainable manufacturing practices (Mirdar Harijani et al., 2017; Maktadir et al., 2018). Still, funding and law enforcement determine the degree of the environmental degradation thus without them, recycling of textile poses increased ecological threats. Eryuruk (2012) supports this opinion by noting that government involvement acts as both a management and sustainability driver.
There are additional drivers of sustainability in textile recycling as identified in the different literature. For instance, Mwanza and Mbohwa (2017) deliberate on other factors such as responsibility by consumers and producers, and rules and regulations as factors influencing sustainable development. On the other hand, Snadvik (2017) identifies external pressure from growing populations and decreasing resources, and potential extended producer responsibility as supplementary drivers of sustainability. Finally, Whitty (2015) discusses system innovation and cross-sector collaborative initiatives as practices that could apply to the improvement of sustainability in the future of textile recycling.
Bhowmik, A. K. (2013). Industries’ location as jeopardy for sustainable urban development in Asia: A review of the Bangladesh leather processing industry relocation plan. Environment and Urbanization Asia, 4(1), 93-119.
Cordoba, D. B., & Veshagh, A. (2013). Managing eco design and sustainable manufacturing. In Re-engineering Manufacturing for Sustainability (pp. 59-67). Springer, Singapore.
Cuc, S., Iordanescu, M., Gîrneata, A., & Irinel, M. (2015). Environmental and socioeconomic sustainability through textile recycling. Industria Textila, 66(3), 156.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation. (2018). A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future. Retrieved from
Eryuruk, S. H. (2012). Greening of the textile and clothing industry. Fibres & Textiles in Eastern Europe, (6A (95)), 22-27.
Hotta, Y., & Aoki-Suzuki, C. (2014). Waste reduction and recycling initiatives in Japanese cities: Lessons from Yokohama and Kamakura. Waste Management & Research, 32(9), 857-866.
Kim, C. S., & Kim, K. R. (2016). A case study comparing textile recycling systems of Korea and the UK to promote sustainability. Journal of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, 10(1).
Köhler, A. R., Hilty, L. M., & Bakker, C. (2011). Prospective impacts of electronic textiles on recycling and disposal. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 15(4), 496-511.
Mirdar Harijani, A., Mansour, S., & Karimi, B. (2017). A multi-objective model for sustainable recycling of municipal solid waste. Waste Management & Research, 35(4), 387-399.
Moktadir, M. A., Rahman, T., Rahman, M. H., Ali, S. M., & Paul, S. K. (2018). Drivers to sustainable manufacturing practices and circular economy: A perspective of leather industries in Bangladesh. Journal of Cleaner Production, 174, 1366-1380.
Muthu, S. S. (2016). Textiles and Clothing Sustainability. Springer Verlag, Singapore.
Mwanza, B. G., & Mbohwa, C. (2017). Drivers to Sustainable Plastic Solid Waste Recycling: A Review. Procedia Manufacturing, 8, 649-656.
Newell, A. (2015). Textile Waste Resource Recovery: A Case Study of New York State’s Textile Recycling System. Cornell University. Retrieved from
Ozturk, E., Koseoglu, H., Karaboyaci, M., Yigit, N. O., Yetis, U., & Kitis, M. (2016). Sustainable textile production: Cleaner production assessment/eco-efficiency analysis study in a textile mill. Journal of cleaner production, 138, 248-263.
Retail Forum for Sustainability (2013). Sustainability in Textiles. European Union. Retrieved from
Rosen, M. A., & Kishawy, H. A. (2012). Sustainable manufacturing and design concepts, practices and needs. Sustainability. 4: 154-174.
Sandvik, I. M. (2017). Applying circular economy to the fashion industry in Scandinavia through textile-to-textile recycling. School of Social Science, Monash University. Retrieved from
Strahle, J., & Muller, V. (2017). Key aspects of sustainability in fashion retail. In Green Fashion Retail (pp. 7-26). Springer, Singapore.
Watson, D., Elander, M., Gylling, A., Andersson, T., & Heikkilä, P. (2017). Stimulating Textile-to-Textile Recycling (Vol. 2017569). Nordic Council of Ministers. Retrieved from
Whitty, J. (2015). Refashioning textile waste. Unmaking Waste 2015 Conference Proceedings. Retrieved from

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