19 Sep 2017

How big is the Dutch clothing mountain?

The HvA, MODINT, Saxion, MVO Nederland, Circle Economy and Sympany have collaborated to measure the Dutch clothing mountain and compare it with that of other countries in the region. 

The research indicates that Dutch consumers buy approximately 46 items of clothing and footwear per year. We keep approximately 173 items in our wardrobe, of which 50 have not been worn in the last year and 7 are second-hand. 3 garments per person are discarded in the supply chain (before arriving to consumers). We throw away approximately 40 clothes per year, 24 of these are incinerated. 5 are collected separately but they are not suitable for reuse, so they can be recycled, 2 are rewearable according to consumers, but not by international second-hand standards; finally, 9 of these garments are suitable for the international second-hand market. 

Based on these and other facts, we provide recommendations to reduce the size of the Dutch clothing mountain for consumers, companies, designers, fashion schools, textile collectors and sorters, municipalities, and public policy. Moreover, we suggest promising directions for further research.