Only about 0.1% of recycled fiber collected by charities and take back programs is recycled into new textile fiber.
A staggering statistic in dire need of improvement but also a call for action for our industry. Recycling is a beneficial activity from both environmental and economic points of view. Through the recycling of used clothes and textiles, we can avoid pollution and energy intensive production of new clothing. Also, clothing that cannot be reused can be re-purposed into such products as rags or
recycled into fabric or other material for reprocessing.
The action involves recovering old clothing and shoes for sorting and processing. Then there are end products that are typically clothes suitable for reuse, cloth scraps or rags as well as fiber content materials. These sort of innovations are sprouting because of environmental awareness and landfills becoming more and more packed.
It’s also a great idea for brands and entrepreneurs to cap on for other means of business and providing a social impact.
Here some ways you can become more aware and involved:
The internet. Duh. A simple and fast way of getting garment workers to raise awareness with information. Providing the importance and benefits of donating used items like clothes and shoes. Also gaining a great deal of education. Online is endless!
Encouraging bins and truck signage. You can see many donation bins to drop off or your local thrift store truck taking gentle used clothes and other items. It’s also very convenient and mobile for you and the organization. And we all know convenience is huge factor in our busy lives. I think supporting your local businesses are always best. Who knows, you might see your old pair of vegan boots waking down the street again.
Repair and Re-wear. Just because there’s broken button or slight tear doesn’t mean you just toss it. If you know how to sew then utilize that machine you got back in middle school for home-mec. Or there’s always the dry cleaners you pass by everyday on the way home. Trust me there have been some times I slightly damaged my clothes but nothing a good simple stitch can’t do!
Yard Sale! Host your own yard sale or make it fun into a pop-up shop. It’s always better knowing your neighbors can reuse the things you just don’t need or can use anymore. For me it’s a peace of mind knowing my old clothes will be used by conscious people.
Have any other ideas or facts you like to share? Let me know!