The campaign aims to raise awareness of the growing problem of textile waste in Ontario.
According to the Council for Textile Recycling (2014), 85% percent of all textiles are going directly into landfills rather than being recycled or reused. This is a huge problem because natural textiles biodegrade in landfills, producing CO2 and methane emissions that contribute to climate change; while synthetic materials do not biodegrade and instead stay forever in landfills (Fletcher, 2013).
Solving this problem would require all textiles to be collected and diverted from the waste stream. This is a simple solution, in theory, however, the processes required to achieve it are complex. It requires the consolidated efforts of numerous stakeholder groups and millions of citizens.
The solution also depends upon changes in social and technological processes. New social developments have increased awareness about the problem and inculcated a desire to solve it, offering an opportunity for change.
However, conflicting interests surrounding textile diversion, coupled with a lack of industry, governmental, and academic perspectives, have contributed to the uncertainty about how to solve the issue of textile waste.
Fashion Takes Action and The Ontario Textile Diversion Collaborative is trying to change all of this.
The campaign introduces the new 7R’s of Fashion: Recycle, Rent, Reduce, Repurpose, Repair, Reuse and Resale; and gives a list of resources to accomplish all that.
They are also trying to raise awareness around the many misconceptions related to how we get rid of our clothing, like:
What happens to my clothes once I have donated them?
Both charitable and for-profit organizations in Canada collect used clothes for reuse and resale to fund their missions. On average, up to 95% of used clothing can be repurposed. Roughly 25% are resold into the Canadian marketplace through local thrift stores, and another 30% is sold to overseas. Approximately 25% are repurposed into other products (bags/rags), 15% is broken down into low-grade fiber that is used for insulation and other industrial products, and 5% is waste.
Can I donate clothing that is stained or missing buttons?
Clothing with stains or that are damaged – holes, rips, broken zippers and missing buttons can generally still be donated. However, it is best to contact the organization to see what they accept if you are unsure
What items cannot be donated?
It depends on who you are donating to, however most accept bags, shoes, accessories, bedding, drapes, pillow covers, towels, washcloths, tablecloths, and sleeping bags.
To find out more about how you can become a sustainable fashion citizen, visit here.
We’ve got a ton of information here on The Eco Hub helping you to make more ethical choices when getting rid of your clothing:
There is also This New Toolkit Is Helping To Make Sustainable Fashion More Accessible. Which is a fantastic resource!