Households in the UK throw away around 336,000 tonnes (£140 million worth) of our unwanted clothing and textiles annually, a shocking statistic when you realise almost all of this waste is going straight to landfill.
The average UK household owns around £4,000 worth of clothes, the vast majority of us have clear outs around twice a year, which is where were a lot of our clothing sadly leaves the wardrobe and goes into the bin. There are many reasons why we dispose of our clothing; they no longer fit us, they have suffered wear and tear, they are out of fashion, our tastes have changed – to name but a few. Sadly this is when the decision is made to get rid of these once loved items, and into the general waste they go.
Clothing is not the only textile item that gets sent to landfill; curtains, towels, rugs, blankets and soft furnishings are just some of the non-clothing items that are thrown away by the general public daily. Once this type of waste reaches landfill they takes many years to decompose, the saddest part is that many of these items were in good, if not excellent condition and are simply now sitting rotting away. We can put a stop to this wastage in a few easy and often effortless ways –
One mans trash is another mans treasure! A clothing item that may no longer fit you or be to your taste maybe ideal for somebody else. Take your clothes to charity shops or textile recycling bins and units to help recycle such items, a new owner gives them a new lease of life. This isn’t just limited to clothes, non-clothing waste such as curtains can also be taken to charity shops to be re-homed.
Many of our clothes that get thrown away are actually in perfect condition, meaning it would be a great shame to see it in landfill. Why not sell your textile waste that is in good condition and re-home the item whilst also earning yourself some cash. There are so many selling outlets online, as well as via carboot sales where you can make some money from the clothing and textiles you no longer require.
One of the main reasons we dispose of clothing and textiles is wear and tear. The first sign of any damage and the clothing goes straight into the waste bins, even though it can often be very easily repaired. There are many upholstery repair companies for clothing, shoes and other textiles that will take your damaged items and return them looking as good as new. You can also often repair a lot of these issues yourself with a simple needle and thread. This will save buying new items, whilst also keeping it out of the rubbish bins.
Get creative with your unwanted or unneeded textiles and make something new out of your old clobber. There are many handy videos online showcasing how you can turn unwanted clothing into pieces of art and other soft furnishings. Up-cycling is a new craze that has taken over the nation and up-cycling textiles is a new found hobby for many people.
These are 4 simple but effective ways to reduce the ever-mounting textile waste getting sent to landfills, small steps to reduce global waste and help make a planet a cleaner, greener place to live.