Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The textiles issue : an investment

The textiles issue : an investment (or should that be t- issue?!)

3% of an average waste bin in North East Lincolnshire is made up of textile waste. This could be sheets, holey socks, torn or stained shirts. What could happen to it instead?

Well thinking in terms of the waste hierarchy the first thing to consider is: how can we plan out textiles waste? I suppose the best answer would be to buy high quality goods which will be durable, and last a long, long time. But there’s a lot of perceptions to change in society, to get people back to seeing clothes as an investment (no pun intended!). There’s a big uptake in the ‘make do and mend’ mentality, so stitch up that holey sock, or get even more creative!

We’re very keen to promote reuse of textiles, and most clothes can be passed on to younger siblings or willing friends. Have you heard of ‘swishing’? This is the idea of having a party where everyone brings a few items of clothes which don’t fit or would like a change. For every item you bring, you can take home a different item, so your tight jeans could become your new shoes! These items can be affectionately referred to as ‘pre-loved’.
Everyone has their favourite charity shops to donate to or shop in, and some charities will even collect bulky items such as furniture from your door, it’s always worth checking.

Lots of people may not be aware that textiles which are not suitable for reuse can actually be recycled. This might be the torn or spoiled materials which can’t be sold on, but could be shredded and turned into mattress stuffing, or cushion fillings. There are charities which can benefit from this as well, by selling on their textiles collections.

Some local schools have started collecting textiles through Wastebuster’s Sport into school project, which allows them to swap bags of their textiles for new sports equipment! Why not ask your local school if they have signed up yet?