Brands are leaning on ‘recycled’ clothes to meet sustainability goals. How are they made? And why is recycling them further so hard?

Recycling clothing isn’t like recycling paper, glass or metal. Clothes are endlessly variable and unpredictable. So they’re not ideal for recycling technologies, which require a steady and consistent source material. Even a seemingly simple garment may contain multiple materials, with fibre blends such as cotton/polyester and cotton/elastane being common.