Organising your wardrobes for Spring? I'm ashamed to say I am not really a proper green person. I do recycle obviously, and don't litter. As I come out of my baby fog I'm becoming more annoyed by waste, plastic, unnecessary stuff (am I getting old?!). I was shocked to read that 300k clothing items end up in landfill every year in the UK😱! I read about this first over at Clemmie Telfords feed, and felt that it's got to be worth looking at. That’s just 8 clothing items thrown away per household a year. I knew what I could do with good stuff that’s just been outgrown (really must get on with that🤭):
- wash and take to a charity shop
- sell on ebay or facebook marketplace
- save for Fashion Re:Boot if it’s a high-end or high street piece
- organise a swap party with friends, one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure
- give to friends and family
- take nearly new or new garments to New-U shop in Castle Mall, no cash is exchanged but your items are valued and you get vouchers which you can then use to take home other pieces. The other purpose of this shop is to give young people the skills and confidence to progress into employment by offering retail work experience placements in a supportive environment.
But what can you do with damaged clothes?
You know, when the Vanish just isn't doing it. Or the tights really are too holey. I've been in touch with the lady who used to be @_thisoldthing_ about repairing some jeans (she has changed her handle and I simply can't find her now!) who, with @bykateelizabeth are championing ethical fashion in Norwich (they were excellent vendors at Fashion Re:Boot). AND, I’ve found an App for That! It’s called reGain, which swaps any textiles for discount coupons for sustainable clothing retailers. You have to have ten items, pop them in a cardboard box (that hopefully you have already) and drop at a post office, and receive a 10% voucher on your app.
What happens to the clothes?
Most of the garments are in good condition and can be reused and re worn. Did you know that 70% of the Global Population are Second Hand Clothing Users? Over 5 billion people! Landfill doesn't need clothes.
If the garments cannot be re worn they will come back to life in many other forms and industries – from cleaning cloths to mattress fillings, material insulation and automotive industry. Garments can have a second, third or fourth life.
Textiles that are not suitable for Reuse or Recycling are used as combustibles for energy production apparently.
Basically the idea is that we need to be wearing clothes until they can no longer be used and then they are ultimately made into new products.
H&M, Zara and M&S offer drop off points instore which is pretty useful (more here) although I did read that H&M can only actually reuse 0.7% of the textiles they receive into new garments. This is because the fibres are shredded so don't end up being suitable for clothes, so are usually downgraded into insulation. Still better than landfill though. Also the H&M Foundation is donating roughly $7 million over four years to the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel to develop advanced textile recycling methods so it is more of a circular loop.
If you know of any other ways to prevent garments going to landfill, please let me know and I'll add them to the article.