Going in a New Direction
By 2030, we are expected as a whole to be discarding more than 134 million tonnes of textiles a year.
That is friggin scary and unnecessary
At the same time we are buying more clothes than ever. More than two tonnes of clothing are bought each minute in the UK, more than any other country in Europe.
Things need to change, currently just 13.6% of clothes and shoes thrown away end up being recycled much of the problem comes down to what our clothes are made from. The fabrics we wear are complex combinations of fibres, fixtures and accessories, made from problematic blends of natural yarns, man-made filaments, plastics and metals.
“For example, a 100% cotton t-shirt contains many other components such as labels and sewing threads which are usually made from another material like polyester,” says Prajapati. “Similarly, a typical pair of jeans are made from cotton yarn which is generally blended with elastane, and other components such as zips and buttons and polyester sewing thread and dyed using a range of dyes.”
Very few of the clothes that are sent to be recycled are actually turned into new clothing – a process known as “material to material” recycling. Old wool jumpers, for example, can be turned into carpets, cashmere can be recycled into suits. But as of 2015, less than 1% of used clothing was recycled in this way.
While of course there is a healthy market in second-hand clothes being sold online, perhaps the most popular way of disposing of old clothes is simply to give them away so they can be reused through charity shops. Increasingly, however, clothes donations are being used as a way of simply passing on the textile waste problem to others.
Now I know I cannot solve this problem, but I can help a smidgen, if I can repurpose just a few fabric items into something to keep them out of landfill just a little bit longer, then I feel like I am helping, my plan for the business now is to do what I really enjoy, sitting on the sewing machine or having a needle in my hand to repurpose these fabrics, and it seems that my daughter has also caught the repurposing bug for Christmas we bought her a tie dye kit, and she loved it, but dying 4 napkins weren't enough for her so she asked us if we had any clothes she could dye, we didn't but I did suggest to her that we could go to the charity shop to see if we could find something, this sent her cogs turning, and before you know it a whole business was born, she is just 10, so there is no pressure on her to do it, but I have told her that what she makes I will sell for her, without commission obviously but I do expect the odd cuppa!