Textile waste is a growing problem amounting to about 5% of the annual total garbage in Metro Vancouver. Metro Vancouver residents sent more than 44 million pounds of textiles to the landfill last year – that’s the equivalent weight of 44 t-shirts per person!
Metro Vancouver recently launched a new campaign to encourage residents to think not just twice, but three times before tossing out clothing.
“We buy an astonishing three times as much clothing as we did back in the 1980s,” said Director Jack Froese, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee. “Much of this ‘fast fashion’ is relatively cheap to buy and ends up in the trash, when it could otherwise have been repaired or recycled.”
So how can we reduce the amount of clothing that would go in the garbage? Luckily, there are many options available to reduce, repair and reuse clothing.
Reducing clothing waste starts with making smart choices when you are buying clothes. Choosing quality clothes that are made to last really works. This is how to get the most out of your clothes while saving money and reducing the long-term environmental impact.
Buying second-hand or renting clothing are also greener alternatives. For example, renting fancy clothes for a special event like a wedding.
You don’t have to be a seamstress to reattach a button that fell off your shirt or fix a ripped seam on your pants. DIY is on trend; watch a Think Thrice video to make an easy repair to your clothing item instead of throwing it away.
If you have butter fingers or truly don’t have the time, find a service to do your alterations and repairs. There’s usually a storefront at your local mall or laundry mats often have a seamstress available. There is a cost, but if it extends the life of your favourite sweater or coat it’s totally worth it!
There is no need to trash your clothes when you are ready to move on! Second-hand clothing retailers and non-profit organizations will accept almost anything from a single shoe to ripped shirts as long as the donated clothing is clean, dry and packed in a plastic bag or box. Mouldy, paint-stained or oil-covered clothes cannot be re-used or recycled. Shoes do need to be in good condition as there is no option to recycle worn out shoes at this time. To find out where to recycle your old clothes, visit Metro Vancouver Recycles.
Get in touch!
If you have clothes to recycle or any recycling project in Metro Vancouver, Green Coast Rubbish has an experienced team and will make sure all the materials we remove are dealt with in the most environmentally-friendly manner. Contact us at 604 230-4530 or firstname.lastname@example.org.