As soon as we receive your bags of old clothes, they are all stacked together to be shipped to various developing world countries. Your clothes are recycled to be reused by the less fortunate via the market traders. This way they have the opportunity to buy and wear clothing, which might not have been possible without your help.
You won’t get a better feeling than knowing you not only raised funds, but also helped the economy, environment, and put a smile on somebody’s face on the other side of the world – And all you had to do was donate some clothes.
Today, clothing not only responds to practical needs; fashion has become a form of self-expression and the sheer volume and variety of textile products available on the market have reached unprecedented levels. Textiles are not only used for clothes – they are also in our homes, hospitals, workplaces and vehicles, in the form of cleaning materials, leisure equipment etc.
Recovering and recycling textiles provides both environmental and economic benefits by:
- Reducing the need for landfill space:
Certain synthetic fibre products will not decompose, while natural fibre such as wool does decompose but produces methane which contributes to global warming.
- Reducing pressure on resources:
This includes materials traditionally used in textiles such as cotton or wool, as well as oil and other chemicals employed to produce synthetic fibres.
- Reducing pollution as well as water and energy consumption.
Some Recycling Facts*
- Of all collected textiles, approximately 50% are reused and 50% are recycled.
- If everyone in the UK (60 million people) bought one reclaimed woollen garment each year, it would save an average of 1,686 million litres of water and 480 tonnes of chemical dyestuffs.
- Nearly half of discarded textiles are donated to charities. About 61% of clothes recovered for second-hand use are exported.
- In many African countries, over 80% of the population dress themselves in second-hand clothing.
- With the re-use of recovered materials in manufacturing processes or in consumption cycles, there is a strong decrease of CO2 emissions compared to the production of virgin materials. Here is an example of the environmental benefits derived from a study of the University of Copenhagen (research sources 2008) which shows the environmental advantages resulting from the collection of used clothing. By collecting 1kg of used clothing, one can reduce:
– 3,6kg of Co2 emissions
– 6000 l of water consumption
– 0,3 kg of the use of fertilizers
– 0,2kg of the use of pesticides
*Information taken from The Bureau of International Recycling website