Recycled cotton can be generally defined as converting cotton fabric into cotton fiber that can be reused in textile products. Recycled cotton is also commonly referred to as regenerated cotton, reclaimed cotton, or shoddy. Recycled content includes recycled raw material, as well as used, reconditioned, and re-manufactured components.
Textile recycling is generated from two primary sources:
- Pre-consumer: includes scraps created by yarn and fabric by-products
- Post-consumer: includes garments, upholstery, towels, household items to be repurposed
The largest volume of recycled cotton sources is produced through pre-consumer waste, such as cutting scraps. Post-consumer waste is more difficult to sort through due to various color shades, fabric blends, and it is generally a more labor-intensive process.