The most perfect summer has come to an end. Even though some of us are still in denial; my friends and I barbecued in drizzle the other week and then picnicked along the canal at Granary Square the following weekend. The weather has been yo-yoing enough for us to pretend, but if the chilly mornings and evenings of late September are anything to go by, October is sure to bring with it cold.
Our wardrobes are set to change (if they haven’t started to already). It is about the time we trade single layers for doubles. Simple t-shirts for sweatshirts and turtle necks. And with the finite space available in most London homes, this means a new crop of clothes will end up in our “don’t want it”, “donate” or “bin” piles and will need new homes. Some of these clothes will eventually end up in landfill. In 2016, 300,000 tonnes of clothes were thrown into landfill, that is the equivalent of 375 million pairs of jeans (imagine!).You’re probably thinking…why should that figure matter to me?
Why you should recycle your clothes
Putting your clothes in the bin is losing you (and the economy) money. Retailers like H&M, Marks and Spencer’s and John Lewis have started paying customers to return their old clothes. This is because they recognise the value of these discarded clothes (approximately £120million worth of clothes go to landfill year on year). So now, you can save up to £50 on that dress or coat you’ve been dreaming about by using a retailer’s takeback scheme. To find retailers who have a clothing takeback programme, use the Impact Fashion app.
Beyond the financial benefits, clothes in landfill have several negative social and environmental impacts. Some clothes produce methane as they decompose, while others release the toxic chemicals which were used to dye them. Landfill also take up a lot of space. Britain currently uses an area the size of Warwick as a rubbish dump and this is expected to grow. While there is not much we can do about the area currently used as landfill, future dumping grounds could be avoided and perhaps be used to build more homes for the growing population. Given the social, economic and environmental benefits of not binning clothes, it is important that very little or no clothes go to landfill.
The best way to get rid of your clothes
We at Impact Fashion are committed to helping people stop their old clothes from ending up in landfill. This is why we created the Impact Fashion app. It is a resource that provides Londoners with information about where they can recycle their clothes and the type of clothes can be recycled. Because having a great wardrobe isn’t just about buying better and caring for your clothes, it is also about disposing better.
So, when you’re clearing out your wardrobe, use our app to find your nearest textile recycling station or closest charity shop, and give your old clothes a second life. We’ll be sharing tips on how to get rid of damaged clothes or scrap fabrics as we develop the app further.