Reuse, Repurpose Recreation and Recycle. Textile and clothing recycling is beneficial from both an environmental and economic aspect. Through the recycling of used garments and textiles, we can avoid water pollution and energy intensive production of new clothing. Additionally, clothing that cannot be reused can be recreated and recycled into other products.
I originally wrote this post a while back and since then I have seen changes in the world. There used to be a system in place where you bought your new clothing, wore it for a while and then donated it. Or thought you did. You know those plastic curbside bins for used clothing, people think they go to donations. Well, they don't. Those are bins that are placed there by the municipalities in conjunction with the textile recycle industry, which up till now has dealt with the bulk of textile discard.
The clothing is collected by the recycle industry, sorted and moved on. White cottons to the optical industry and paper making plants, cotton sweatshirts are bagged and sold to garages and the heavy machinery industry, Jeans are sold in bales of ton weight. Other clothing has up till now been shipped off to Africa, Europe and India to be sold in second hand markets. If you prefer to donate do so directly to charity organizations or via second hand stores that state that they do this.
Well, here is some news, Africa doesn't want our discards anymore. Due to the glut of the West's textiles in African landfills a ban has been placed on importing second hand clothing in certain African countries. So what are we going to do with all our textile stuff?
First of all we can re-educate to buy less. To buy less new stuff and if we are buying, to buy second hand or recreated from preused textiles. There are many small businesses which are a part of this movement. When purchasing from a business like this you are achieving a two-fold purpose, reuse and support of family owned businesses.
We can start at home reusing our textiles. Simple upcycles for home use in the bathroom, in the kitchen and in the bedroom.
We can acquire basic sewing skills, its never too early to start, children can be taught to sew.
We can recreate beautiful things from textiles we have at home for our closet, living and dining areas. We can even create art from preused textiles.
If we want to purchase textiles, we can, first of all shop in our closets, everybody has clothing that has not been worn for a while, recreate with it. Shop at charity and second hand stores, this way textiles stay in the community, Swap with friends and family. Buy less and if you prefer to donate do so directly to charity organizations or via second hand stores that state that they do this..
Recycling clothing, footwear, and household textiles keeps it out of landfills.
A used sweater can warm a needy child in the winter or be recycled for the fiber and woven into a new blanket. A stained, worn out t-shirt or sweatshirt, can be used as a cleaning rag for the industry. There are many more uses for clothing and textiles before they end up in the landfill.
Old Jeans New Uses
Old Sweaters New Uses
Old T-shirts New Uses