From street bins to social stores and trading markets, we help you understand the destination of your donations. Did you know that a cotton T-shirt
Between the common waste bin and the textile collection containers, we went to understand what is the best solution for the clothes that are in no condition to be reused.
Peggada wrote about the different options available for clothes we no longer wear. And even though there are several solutions for the one that can still be used by someone else, questions have arisen about the one that is no longer in usable condition. We went to investigate and we bring you the answer.
If you have torn, frayed, or stained socks, shirts, or sneakers that are not suitable for donation, don’t put them in the general waste bin. This option does not allow the separation of the textiles, but only allows them to be disposed of in landfill or incineration, two destinations that have a large impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
There are still few textile collection systems that allow for the revaluation of clothing in an effective and traceable way. Still, clothing storage containers are a viable option, even for items that are at the end of their life. After the collection, the clothes in good condition are sorted and donated or resold in second hand markets and third parties, in Portugal and abroad.
As for the clothes that cannot be reused, the association Zero clarifies to Peggada that this “will be sent for recycling”, although they do not guarantee that this always happens. “In any case, the probability is much higher that it is recycled, even if in downcycling, i.e., transformed for less noble purposes, instead of giving rise to fibers to make new clothes,” they also say.
How does laundry recycling work?
The revalorization, or recycling of textile fibers, allows end-of-life fabrics to be transformed into a secondary raw material and reused in bedding, as padding for carpets and mattresses, toys and cushions; in the automotive industry for seat padding and vehicle insulation; in construction for home insulation, road surfaces and playgrounds. An example in textile reuse is the company Sasiawhich takes advantage of textiles from the end consumer and industry by producing recycled textile fibers from pre- and post-consumer textile waste.
Not all fabrics have the same recycling potential and currently, only 1% is recycled with quality, Zero explains. Pieces with only one fiber or from fibers of renewable origin (cotton, hemp, linen, silk, jute, coconut) are easier to recycle and make new yarn. Unlike synthetic, or plastic, fibers, made of non-renewable raw material from petroleum (nylon, polyester, acrylic), which go through a refining and chemical recycling process according to their color and structure, which requires more labor-intensive recycling.
It can be concluded that there is still a long way to go, from the producer’s point of view and the local logistics network, to ensure that the processing of materials is done according to the needs of the industry and that local solutions are found that avoid the export of the parts and the logistics footprint.
She spent her childhood between Algarve and Lisbon, studied Arts but followed Journalism, likes clams with toasted bread as much as sausages with savoy cabbage. In short, her life is as much about the sea as it is about land. Her feet are always bare and she sings loudly when she goes shopping. She likes to grow pioneering projects with impact, from food-based to mobility, as long as they help someone in their mission. Social responsibility speaks to her heart, so she regularly volunteers and donates her clothes. Her reference in sustainability is her grandmother, who has always used bath water, fruit peels for tea, and treasures her belongings with her heart.
Things start piling up and there isn’t enough closet space for all the babygrow that stops fitting in three days, is that correct? Don’t worry,
Sustainable Development Goals 🍃
This article promotes an action that encourages the reduction of waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse.