Did you know that, on average, each home in the United Kingdom has close to 30% of their clothing unworn for over a year? It is estimated that the value of unworn clothing i.e. clothing sitting around doing absolutely nothing useful is about £30 billion. It is an absolutely stunning amount, particularly considering unworn clothing is having a detrimental impact on the environment and there are a number of people out there who would greatly benefit from wearing this clothing. On this page, we are going to take a little look at the reasons as to why you would want to recycle unwanted clothes. Hopefully, by the end of this page you will realise that textile recycling is the best option.
Helping others who are less fortunate than you
Not all of us are blessed with the ability to purchase new clothes whenever and wherever we want. As you may well know, poverty in the United Kingdom has increased drastically over the past few years. There are people who can’t afford clothing at all, let alone the ability to purchase second-hand clothing. When you recycle, you will be able to help these people.
The clothing that you recycle can be used to help keep a child or adult warm during the winter months. It will also ensure that they have something which they can wear that is actually new. Nobody really wants to be stuck in old, tattered clothing.
Some of the clothing that you recycle will most likely be sold in stores that deal with second-hand clothing. Having the clothing that you recycle on sale here is also going to be helping people in need. After all, some people can’t afford new clothing, but they certainly can afford second-hand clothing.
In short; textile recycling is going to help other people out. People just like you and I who are a little bit down on their luck at the moment. This should, hopefully, give you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside knowing that you have done your bit to help out your fellow man.
Stop the landfills being filled up
It is no secret that the landfills in the United Kingdom are filling up at a far faster rate than ever before. We live in a world where people just throw away things even if they are perfectly usable, even clothes. If we run out of landfill space, there will be no space anywhere for people to put their garbage and the like. This will result in a very messy place to live, or maybe, even landfills being moved closer to your home (the vast majority of landfills are, at the moment, quite a distance away from civilization). However, there are only so many places we can put landfills.
It is not just the filling up of a landfill that is an issue, however. Many people fail to realise that clothes can cause pollution. Most clothes are made of natural materials. This includes wool, leather, and cotton. This will cause the clothes to start to bio-degrade at a rapid rate. When they bio-degrade, they will create methane, an incredibly harmful gas. Now, this is most likely not going to rise up out of the landfill. Instead, it is going to flow downwards. It is going to penetrate the soil. It is going to make that soil polluted. It will kill the surrounding environment. Plants and animals will die. At the moment, landfills are a pretty inhospitable place as it is. The amount of garbage that we are throwing into these landfills at the moment will make these places an inhospitable place for many, many years to come.
Pollution in the creation of new clothes
When people think of factory pollution, they tend to think of huge machines billowing out oodles of smoke into the environment, tearing a hole in the ozone later, and just generally smelling hideous. Most people do not associate the production of clothing with pollution. However, it is, and it has quite a detrimental impact on the environment too.
Did you know that about 5% of the amount of water used in the United Kingdom and carbon produced in the United Kingdom? This is an absolutely stunning amount. Carbon is, of course, going to be polluting the environment, quite seriously too! We can always use more water too. It is a vital resource, it does not all need to be put into the production of clothing when we can quite easily trim down the amount of clothing being produced quite drastically.
It, obviously, requires energy to process this clothing too. Remember, not only does the clothing need to be manufactured, but it also needs to be transported. A great deal of the clothing that is sold in this country comes from abroad, often by boat. This requires a lot of fuel. This fuel is polluting the environment. It needs to be transported once again when it lands on our fair shores, so even more fuel needs to be expended. It is said that, overall, the production of clothes requires about ten times the amount of energy that the production of steel or glass. You wouldn’t think it, but it is true. That shirt you are wearing has done so much damage to this planet.
Pesticides, they are bad for the environment, right? Well, yes! However, did you know that 24% of all pesticides used on this planet are actually used to grow cotton? This is detrimental to the environment. Pesticides kill animals. They pollute the air. They ruin everything.
To sum up, on average, a household in the United Kingdom will have an environmental footprint, on clothes alone, of roughly the amount of pollution a car driven 6,000 miles produces AND enough water to fill over 1,000 bathtubs.
We can change this too. Just extending the life of clothes by 3%, often through recycling them, can cut down this by about 10%. It can go down even further the longer you continue to use the clothing.
Reduces the need for raw materials
You will be surprised at the amount of materials which are required to put together even the simplest of t-shirts. Obviously, the production of this material will require factories, sometimes space to grow the material, for example when it comes to cotton. This is all going to be detrimental to the environment. Thankfully, clothes recycling will cut down on the amount of clothes which need to be produced and, therefore, the number of materials required will be drastically reduced. This will not be as detrimental to the environment. It also means, for example, places which are normally used to grow cotton can be turned over to grow food and the like (many places which actually grow cotton are going through somewhat of a food shortage, so textile recycling could actually help out considerably on this front)
Clothes recycling creates jobs
Did you know that the clothes recycling process creates jobs? As mentioned previously, the vast majority of clothes are produced overseas. Our economy is not getting any of that money. It is being sent abroad. Sure, it helps to keep the cost of the clothes down, but so many people in this country have been left out of the working environment because their factory closed down and jobs were sent abroad. Nowadays, the only real jobs in this country when it comes to clothing, is related to the retail of clothing. Nothing is really produced.
The recycling of clothes produces jobs, however. Not only are you going to have people in retail, but you are going to need people in distribution. You are going to need people to sort through all of the clothes that have been recycled. You will even need people to collect the recycled clothes from deposit locations. This is a ton of jobs that will have been created. The figure will only rise the more people start to recycle their clothing. It may not be the biggest benefit to the economy, but each and every job created is another person who will be in employment and working for the country.
Textile recycling can save you money
There are a number of companies out there who will be more than willing to buy clothes off of you in order to recycle (if you do not choose to donate), which means you can save some money. In addition to this, the more people who recycle, the cheaper you will be able to purchase your clothes. After all, just about every one of us has headed to a second-hand clothing store from time to time in order to take a little peek at the type of clothing that they have on offer.
Remember, by supporting the clothing industry, you are going to be saving the environment. Why not look into doing it today? It is going to be an absolutely fantastic decision to make.
Recycle your clothing now!
Hopefully, you have now been convinced about the importance of recycling clothing. Thankfully, getting started in recycling is not all that difficult. It is likely that there are a number of drop-off points in your local area where you will be able to deposit anything you no longer want to use. If not, it is likely that you will be able to head to your local charity or second-hand clothing store and deposit your unwanted clothing there too. Remember, if you are going to deposit clothing, do make sure that it is in a reasonably good condition and clean, otherwise it is really going to be of no use to anybody.