While the USA makes up only 5% of the earths population,

we are the world’s largest importer of apparel, accounting

for 25% of the global imports by value in 2010. *

There is a growing awareness surrounding the destructive environmental impact of our staggering consumption of apparel products. Just behind the Oil Industry, The World Wildlife Fund has ranked the textile/apparel industry as the second most destructive on earth, running in a close tie with the Livestock Industry. Furthermore, conventional cotton occupies approximately 4% of the global agricultural land, yet accounts for at least 25% of all insecticides used worldwide. For each t-shirt worth of conventional cotton, nearly half a pound of chemical pesticides and fertilizers are used. **
It is also important to note, that even organically grown cotton, consumes vast sums of water.

The AJF will focus on the use of as much recycled fiber and domestically grown organic cotton as possible.

Recycled Fiber comes from more than just plastic bottles - The recycling of plastic bottles and packaging into high-quality textiles and garments is just one of the newer and more well-known methods of creating high value products from the waste that hits landfills around the world. However, in the past, garments were recycled in a process called “garneting”. Garneting is deconstructing old garments and textile products by grinding them down into fiber, then spinning the fiber back into yarn to make new fabric. This old process actually presents one of the biggest and most exciting new opportunities for the development of very low-impact and low-cost materials for garment manufacture. A large number of facilities with garneting machines exist outside the USA in India, China, and the EU.

Can the USA develop large-scale garment recycling programs and regional garneting facilities as a means of creating thousands of jobs, reducing landfills and protecting our natural resources? With help from the AJF to procure private and government support, the answer is YES!

Cotton goes, cotton returnsThe United States is the 2nd largest cotton producer in the world; China is the number #1 producer. While china retains the vast majority of their own cotton production, the United States exports more than 50% of their annual cotton crop, by far the largest cotton exporter in the world. *** This makes the U.S.A. the largest global exporter of raw cotton, while we remain the largest importer of cotton apparel. One of the goals of the AJF is to keep as much domestically grown cotton as possible in the United States, thereby eliminating needless trans-ocean shipping and dramatically reducing our carbon footprint.



* - Source, US International Trade commission reports

** - Source, Eco-Fashion Chic- The Fashion Paradox, Sandy Black

*** - Source, Project Cotton, University of Missouri