15 reasons to recycle old towels, sheets, and clothing - Cacala

15 reasons to recycle old towels, sheets, and clothing

Saving the Planet – One Towel at a Time.

Most of us understand the importance of recycling our old cans, plastic, and paper, but most people still do not know to add textiles to their list of recyclable items. You may be wondering why this is important – after, how much damage can old sheets, towels, and clothing create?

Quite a lot, as it turns out. The two key fibers that are utilized in the clothing and textile industry are cotton and polyester, which account for over 85% of global fiber production. Raw resources on our planet are finite, and manufacturing cloth items from raw natural resources is a waste of energy, water, and more. Land and water that could be used for agriculture and crops are diverted away from food production to produce new cotton. Polyester relies on oil for its production, further depleting natural resources and contributing to overall levels of pollution. High energy usage, high water usage, and various toxic chemicals are the results of manufacturing virgin materials.

Reasons to Recycle

The average lifetime of a garment is three years. In the U.S. over one million tons of used clothing and other textiles wind up in landfills each year instead of being recycled and reused. The EPA estimates that the average person throws out 81 pounds of clothing annually. That adds up to 3.8 BILLION pounds of unnecessary waste going into landfills each year When it rains, the toxic waste runs into the groundwater and soil, poisoning both and making them unfit for consumption or crop-growing.

Textile recycling keeps valuable materials in the supply chain to create sustainable resources. Estimates show that over 95% of textiles can, and should, be recycled. Companies like Cacala (cacala.com) that produce regenerated towels and other products from recycled materials are leading the way in recycling textiles and utilizing eco-friendly manufacturing processes. When consumers support environmentally and socially conscious companies such as these, they help to create a powerful positive impact on the overall environment.

Textiles take hundreds of years to decompose. When they end up in landfills, they add to greenhouse gas and CO2 gas emissions. Cotton is the most pesticide-dependent crop in the entire world. There are myriads of reasons to recycle old towels, sheets, and clothing – here are some of the most important:

  • Recycling textiles prevents the destruction of natural resources. The lifestyle of a product includes extracting and processing the raw, natural materials, manufacturing, and consumption, then on to the final disposal. Recycling returns the raw materials (natural resources) to manufacturers for reuse in new products. This stops the creation of more pollution and destruction of natural and virgin resources such as trees and metals. Textile products use dye when manufacturing from virgin sources - recycling allows less production and usage of harmful dyes. Many dyes do not degrade in water, while others produce harmful substances that leech into surrounding soil and groundwater. Recycling reuses materials that have already been dyed, which helps in reducing wastewater - another major contributor to large amounts of pollution. Recycling textiles also reduces the number of trees cut down each year – over 70 million trees are cut down annually to produce virgin materials for clothing, industrial, and home textiles. This figure is expected to double in the next two decades. Saving one tree can rid the atmosphere of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
  • Recycling, water and energy, and green building are necessary due to a growing population and a finite resource base. These practices are vital for the future of our planet, health, economy, and environment.
  • Recycling textiles prevents pollution by avoiding environmental damage caused by creating new dyes, manufacturing cloth from virgin sources, drilling for petroleum (used in manufacturing many textiles), and chopping down trees. Recycling also cuts down on the overall usage of pesticides.
  • Recycling saves money – landfilling can be three times more expensive than recycling. The health cost benefits from reduced pollution and greenhouse gas emissions can add up to more than $55. 00 per ton less than landfilling.
  • Landfills and incinerators cost more to run and maintain than recycling. Landfills eventually leak. The toxic waste can seep into the ground, contaminating soil and water. Cleanup costs run into tens of millions of dollars that the taxpayers Incinerators are the most expensive to run and they create very few jobs. Recycling creates jobs.  Many American incinerators wind up being a financial burden to local communities for failing to supply the required “trash volume” under the long-term put or pay contracts.
  • Landfills and incinerators are major sources of pollution. Recycling reduces the need for landfill space. Landfills have a harmful impact on entire communities, municipal budgets, and the environment. Reducing landfill costs increases available funding for other important city needs. Landfills are the largest source of human-caused methane (a greenhouse gas). Methane is 23x more powerful at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Landfill gas contains hazardous air pollutants that cause cancer. Landfills can cause adverse health effects on adjacent residents as well as the environment. Landfills leach a myriad of pollutants that range from heavy metals to priority pollutants to organic compounds that contaminate groundwater. Once groundwater is contaminated it is impossible to clean up and the EPA recommends abandoning the source. Groundwater sources provide drinking water for over 50% of U.S. residents and irrigate 1/3 of our cropland. Access to clean drinking water has a worldwide impact – many communities across the globe cannot rely on local sources for clean, safe water.
  • Incinerators produce dioxin – the most toxic substance known to mankind. They also produce mercury (a powerful neurotoxin) and other dangerous heavy metals including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and chromium. Incinerators are also major producers of greenhouse gasses, particulate matter, and unknown chemical compounds. Recycling reduces the need for incinerators.
  • Recycling creates jobs at the rate of 35 recycling jobs to every 1 landfill job. For each one job that is created by a landfill, recycling processing can create 10 new jobs, and an additional 25 jobs are created by recycling-based manufacturers. Companies like Cacala (cacala.com) have proven that better production methods do exist. If more companies would be willing to follow their production standards, we would have less of a harmful impact on the environment, factory workers, and local communities around the world.
  • Our current disposable/throwaway system is not sustainable. There is already conflict over the planet’s dwindling natural resources – everything from trees to clean water. Over the past few years, China’s rapid population growth has driven the price of metal to all-time records. There are ongoing violent conflicts in Africa over rights to precious minerals that have produced wars – such as the diamond wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, and the Coltan war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Wars for fossil fuels and clean water are already developing. Recycling is an important step towards Zero Waste – manufacturers that strive towards zero waste (such as the Pestemal manufacturing communities) promote the sustainable and fair use of resources.
  • Destruction of natural resources is a global problem. Deforestation, oil and petrolatum production, and other systemic usages of our natural resources bring about global warming and environmental destruction. Most things can be recycled- 80% of typical household garbage is composed of recyclable or organic materials that can easily be broken down.
  • Recycling reduces carbon emissions (greenhouse gasses). It is vital to save more trees to ensure well-balanced levels of carbon dioxide on the planet. Clothing, towels, and other textiles are typically biodegradable – but when tossed into landfills, they lack the oxygen needed to break down. Lack of oxygen leads to decomposition through anaerobic digestion – microorganisms breaking down the organic manner, which produces byproducts like methane.
  • Recycling Saves Energy. The process of producing a new item uses a high amount of electricity, water, and other energy sources – recycling cuts down on this usage. Manufacturing products produced from raw materials requires consuming a lot of non-renewable energy – up to 95% more energy utilized during the production of virgin materials as opposed to recycled materials.
  • Recycling conserves wildlife by limiting the exploitation of natural resources like forests, rivers, and so forth that provide natural habitats for wildlife.
  • Recycling helps to maintain groundwater quality. Rainwater and runoff from landfills snake through the land into water bodies like lakes, streams, and rivers – making the water unsafe to drink.
  • Accumulation of waste can cause deadly diseases – inhaling greenhouse gasses can lead to respiratory ailments, and contaminated water leads to infectious diseases like typhoid, diarrhea, and dysentery. Recycling prevents waste from becoming pollution and ensures a sustainable future for all of us.

Environmentally and socially conscious companies such as Cacala have been leading the way in taking viable actions to conserve natural resources. Both companies have discovered that by employing local villagers to weave their Turkish towels the old-fashioned way, they can have a positive impact on local communities and the world. Using traditional methods, these two companies have been producing the highest-quality towels from eco-friendly recycled yarn. While too many other corporations are still using toxic and synthetic ingredients to produce their towels, these companies have discovered a way to save the planet, one towel at a time.

Why Cacala is Different?

Cacala Towels is a company that was born out of necessity.

It all began with Tayfun Toksoylu - Cacala’s founder. Tayfun became hooked on surfing during his college years in sunny San Diego, California. He became an avid surfer, and it wasn’t long till he grew tired of lugging damp, weighty towels around. Tayfun remembered the traditional Hammam towels from Turkey. Turkish towels are lighter, more absorbent, and faster drying than traditional cotton towels. It was at this moment that Tayfun decided to introduce traditional Turkish Pestemal towels to the rest of the world.

In 2004, Tayfun began sending towels to the U.S.A. for his friends to sell. The Turkish Pestemal towels quickly became popular with Tayfun’s friends and other surfers. At the time, Turkish towels were not well-known in the U.S.A, but thanks to their versatility and ease of use, the towels quickly became popular.

Tayfun was one of the pioneers in importing Turkish towels. By the end of 2009, Turkish towels had gained solid support. Sales to the States were soaring and Cacala gained the support of Europe and Australia. By the Autumn of 2012, Tayfun had attracted serious corporate customers. Tayfun continued to expand the company while focusing on maintaining the brand’s high standards and reinforcing Cacala’s brand recognition as a leader in manufacturing and exporting multi-functional Turkish pestemal towels.

Being socially conscious has always been equally as important as being eco-friendly to Tayfun. From the beginning, Calcala has been the pioneer in bringing recycled textile pestemal towels to the U.S.A. The towels are produced using the traditional methods favored by local villagers for centuries. Tayfun found that the locals preferred staying home to weave the pestemals, the way their ancestors have done for generations. He created Cacala with a clear mission statement - always strive for responsible production and employment. The aim is to preserve the authenticity of the product and the traditional manufacturing process.

Hiring local families to operate basic weaving machines is prioritized, to provide the highest quality products and to aid the local villages.  Although managing the production of towels in separate families spread across villages in Turkey is difficult, Cacala has made the culture of producing textile products locally sustainable while increasing the welfare of local communities. Cacala donates approximately 5% of all sales towards helping the local student’s education – preserving the local traditions has been beneficial to the villagers and is the best way of producing top quality, eco-friendly multi-purpose towels.

Since many competitors have sprung up, Calcala continually strives to create newer and better products – their creative team designs products such as towels with zippered pockets, organic soaps, Judy series 3-in-1 combo towel, poncho, and a backpack, and the Recycled series made from recycled products.

What are the Benefits of Buying Towels made from Recycled Yarns?

Turkish towels have earned a stellar reputation worldwide. By leaving production in the hands of the Masters, these two companies have shown the world the benefits of using eco-friendly recycled yarns in their Pestemal towels. If you have only used traditional Western cotton towels, switching to Turkish towels can offer a world of benefits:

  • AFFORDABLE - Using recycled cotton yarn helps to keep production costs low. Traditional Pestemal towels are soft, fluffy, premium quality towels that are available at affordable pricing.
  • NATURE-FRIENDLY – No toxins! Using recycled yarn helps put a stop to the waste of natural resources. Fewer trees need to be chopped down, and recycling preserves clean water and air. Recycled yarns are gentle on the skin and the environment. Pestemal towels are free of chemicals, pollutants, and harsh dyes – they are the perfect towels for sensitive skin. There are no synthetic components, so no danger of rashes or allergic reactions.
  • Regenerated towels are soft, fluffy, and absorbent. Cacala produce premium quality products with zero toxins.
  • Turkish Towels provide all the benefits of premium quality towels and offer the additional benefits of remaining lightweight, soft, and absorbent.
  • Pestemal towels eliminate the hassles of disposal. Cacala’s professionally trained experts have come up with an effective way to use recycled cotton yarns and turn them into premium quality towels. Disposal of used cotton leads to environmental problems – at Cacala they have taken care of this issue by using recycled cotton. EACH person in the U.S.A. throws out an average of 80 pounds of textile waste every year – up to 95% of this cotton waste could be recycled. That is a total of 14 million TONS in the U.S.A. each year.
  • Pestemal towels are Durable. They are cost-effective and last a long time due to using premium recycled materials in the manufacturing process. Unlike traditional Western towels, Turkish Pestemal’s retain their luxurious softness and sheen.
  • By purchasing from eco-friendly companies such as Cacala, you can save the environment and provide funds for children’s educations - one towel at a time!

How You Can Help:

Your purchases have power! By recycling your textiles and opting to buy from environmentally conscious companies you are actively contributing to saving our planet. Cacala produce premium towels from recycled materials and offer the additional benefits of providing much-needed funding to families and small villages. Each product is hand-made by skilled artisans. When you purchase from Cacala, YOU are helping to:

  • Reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses.
  • Help those in need.
  • Reduce consumerism and waste.
  • Provide benefits to people in developing countries – Cacala aid in supporting the local economy, businesses, and both companies provide a reliable source of income for families and for funding the local children’s education.
  • Recycling textiles reduces landfill waste and conserves energy.
  • By using recycled yarns, you are reducing the production of harmful dyes. Recycling means using materials that have already been dyed. Recycled yarns are a great way to reduce creating wastewater-which contributes to large amounts of pollution. Many dyes do not degrade in water, while others produce harmful substances.

Small steps can have a huge impact. For more information on environmentally friendly, premium Turkish towels visit cacala.com. You can help save our planet, one towel at a time.

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