According to Martin Boschen, President-Textiles, Bureau of International Recycling’s (BIR), the textile industry is currently in a critical state and it may take these stocks 18-24 months to hit normal levels. As prices of unsorted, post-consumer textiles are lower than the costs of collection in some markets, collection, sorting and recycling are at risk and if this continues, could end many current collection systems. The pandemic-related closure of many retail outlets around the world has led to a huge increase in inventories of both raw materials and sorted goods, and thus to a substantial decrease in prices.
Current retail revenues are 40-60 per cent (of the norm) in Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, as well as in the open South American countries, and up to around 80 per cent in North-West Europe and in the US. Hence, the industry needs to put reuse always above recycling.