Textile Waste in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is regarded as a retail heaven, but having access to countless fashion and apparel brands at our doorstep also comes at a cost. According to the Environmental Protection Department, on average, more than 340 tonnes of discarded clothes and textiles are landfilled daily, which is equivalent to approximately 700,000 sweaters1. It is also estimated that four in 10 Hongkongers have thrown clothes away after having only worn once2. Such habits are key factors that contribute to the city’s growing levels of waste. Hong Kong will need to seek sustainable ways of recycling used clothing – this is where The Billie System can play a part.

  • In Hong Kong, nearly one-fifth of new clothing purchases are never or hardly worn, which is equivalent to a whopping HKD 3.9 billion in purchases.3
  • An average of 110,000 tonnes of disposed garments are collected in Hong Kong each year, which equals to a rate of 1,400 T-shirts per minute.4
  • Most of the textile waste from Hong Kong is processed locally. Mainland China was once a key export destination for textile recyclables from the city; however, since January 2018, China has banned waste imports from overseas.5

  • 1 Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department, 2016
  • 2 “Fast fashion: 39% of Hong Kongers have thrown away clothing after wearing it just once,” YouGov, 2017
  • 3 “Bad fashion? Hongkongers found to spend HK$3.9 billion on clothes they never or seldom wear,” Raymond Yeung, South China Morning Post, 2016
  • 4 “‘Buy Nothing Day’ urges Hongkongers to shun shopping and fast-fashion to reduce textiles waste,” Ernest Kao, South China Morning Post, 2015
  • 5 “All dressed up and nowhere to go … except to landfills: fast consumer fashion habits add to Hong Kong’s textile waste,” Simone McCarthy, South China Morning Post, 2018
Textile Waste in Hong Kong