The average UK shopper buys 4.1 new items of clothing every month, and many of these will eventually end up in landfills. Unfortunately, many of the items that end up being thrown out are suitable for continued use. Instead of throwing out your unwanted clothes, you may wish to consider ethical recycling. Here are some of the main reasons why recycling your clothes is a great idea:
1. It is better for the environment
The fast-fashion market has grown substantially over the last few years, and many clothes retailers do not produce clothes in an environmentally friendly way. Many people are constantly charmed into buying new clothes due to new styles and then, as a result, end up throwing away clothes that are no longer fashionable.
The production of clothes at the current rate causes environmental damage that we often do not know about. Firstly, many of the vibrant colours and unique finishes that we enjoy on clothes are created using harmful chemicals. Textile dying is currently the second-largest clean water pollutant, which not only ruins vast supplies of clean water but is harmful to many animals and organisms. The chemicals in these water supplies build up in the bodies of animals faster than they can excrete them and can have devastating health effects.
Many of the clothing items that we buy are made from polyester, which is cheap to produce. When we wash these clothes, small plastic fibres end up travelling from our washing machines and through the sewer system and end up in the ocean. These fibres are then ingested by small sea creatures such as plankton, which are then eaten by bigger sea creatures which are eaten by humans.
Cotton is also a substance which is regularly used in clothing. Cotton is often grown in some of the driest environments in the world to keep the cost of labour low. Unfortunately, this means that cotton requires a huge amount of unnecessary freshwater to grow. For example, one pair of jeans requires over 7,000 litres of water to make.
By recycling your clothes, it means that your clothes can be reused by others, and new ones do not have to be bought.
2. It saves landfill space
Each year in the UK alone, more than 300,000 tonnes of used clothing goes to landfill. The clothing that is thrown away in this way is worth approximately £12.5 billion. Although landfills are an important aspect of our waste management system, many of the items that end up in landfills could have been recycled. Furthermore, many of the items that end up in landfills contain toxins. When these items decompose, the toxins can end up in the ground or nearby water sources.
In addition to this, the process of decomposition on this scale produces a huge amount of methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas which is contributing to global warming. If the number of items that were decomposing in landfills reduced, greenhouse gases would also reduce and this could slow down climate change.
3. It benefits people who live in developing countries
When you recycle your garments with Collect My Clothes, most of them will be sold in developing countries. Your items will become a source of affordable clothing in many countries in Eastern Europe or Africa. Recycling your clothes will give many families access to clothing that they would not ordinarily have.
4. It’s really easy!
Recycling your clothes with Collect My Clothes could not be easier. All you need to do is put your unwanted clothes in a bag and book a slot for collection. Our team will then collect your clothes from your chosen location, and these will then be ethically recycled. For each tonne of collected, £250 will be donated to the charity of your choice. Recycling your clothes requires very little effort, and also helps to support a local cause. If you have clothes that you wish to recycle, go to our donate page and book a collection online today!