Saturday, February 20, 2016

What happens to our clothes when they are no longer needed?

Something I have always wondered about is what actually happens to all of our old clothing once it is unwearable? Many people donate their clothing to places like Goodwill, or homeless shelters, but is that really the best place? In America alone, we throw away 10.5 million tons of clothing every year, and that is just the stuff that actually reaches landfills. This article I've linked to, was extremely enlightening, and opened my eyes to quite a few different harsh realities.

Summarizing the article, textile recycling is a highly profitable industry. Obviously when you donate to a Goodwill, or a Salvation Army, they sell those items in their stores, but even when you dispose of old clothing in designated clothing recycling bins in the street, they are shipped to companies who still make profit off of them by selling them elsewhere. This issue isn't an easy one to solve. If we take away the convenient clothing recycling options, which more often than not are going to companies that'll make a profit off of them, the population would most likely throw their old clothes out with their normal garbage, which makes the landfill problem even worse. Seems as if we are stuck in a bind of adding to the waste problem, or letting someone else profit off of something we worked hard to get. It doesn't really seem fair or ethical. Hopefully one day this will change. For now it seems as if the best option is to take unwanted textile items to local homeless and displaced family shelters.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/where-does-discarded-clothing-go/374613/

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