a recycling bin with clothing sticking out of it

A New Textile Diversion Plan Is Urging Us To Give Our Clothes A New Life

Last week, Fashion Takes Action and the Ontario Textile Diversion Collaborative rolled out their new campaign: Give Clothes A New Life.

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).

a letter board on a bed that says "reuse" sitting on a pile of jeans

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.

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𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐍𝐄𝐕𝐄𝐑 𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐲𝐥𝐞! – 𝗗𝗼𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗮𝗽 𝗶𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗲 (𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗰𝗵 𝗶𝘁? 𝗱𝗼𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗮𝗽 𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻). _ We have plenty of opportunities to deal with unwanted clothing, but too many are still ending up in the garbage. It’s more important than ever that we work towards extending the life of our wardrobe by swapping, mending, and donating our clothes! _ Here are two easy ways you can donate your clean, dry and odourless clothes: _ 𝟏) 𝐂𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐃𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐁𝐢𝐧𝐬. Clothing donation bins offer a convenient and easy way to donate clothing, shoes, access ories, bath and bed linens etc. as there are hundreds of bins located across the province in highly visible and accessible locations. Many charities operate these bins so not only do you get to declutter your closet but you are helping to support these charities. _ 𝟮) 𝗦𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗱 / 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗶𝗳𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗲𝘀. In Ontario there are a variety of thrift stores that accept donated clothing, such as The Salvation Army Thrift Store, Goodwill and Value Village. You can find a list of stores near you by clicking one of the hyperlinks above or checking @cityofto is helping raise awareness about textile waste. _ Take a look at my stories and the link in my bio for more information. #GiveClothesANewLife #donate #reuse #ad

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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 FashionRecycle, 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:

How Fashion And Climate Change Are Linked

10 Ways You Can Support Fashion Revolution Week

How To Declutter Responsibly!

These Canadian Designers Are The Future Of Sustainable Fashion

There is also This New Toolkit Is Helping To Make Sustainable Fashion More Accessible.  Which is a fantastic resource! 


A New Textile Diversion Plan Is Urging Us To Give Our Clothes A New Life


Candice Batista

Candice Batista is an award winning Environmental Journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.
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