Saturday, 6 October 2012

Help People Recycle Clothing

In this age of consumerism, buying new clothes is about as common as doing a weekly grocery shop. With the nation's wardrobes brimming with unused items, there is a real opportunity for us to help those in need all over the world.

Natural disasters are never far from the headlines - whether it is flooding in Pakistan, the tsunami that hit Japan or a major earthquake in New Zealand, these events are more common than many of us would care to believe.

In many cases, the people involved in these disasters lose everything, so why not do something to help? Clothing recycling is a great way to put those abandoned garments in your wardrobe to good use - and it could be easier than you think.

Clothing is something that many of us take for granted, but the fact is that a discarded jumper or pair of trousers could make a real difference to those in disaster-stricken areas. Events such as earthquakes and tsunamis have the ability to strip populations of everything they own - one minute they could be a high flier in a white collar job, while the next they have nothing at all.

It is important to think about the conditions in the country you are sending clothing to. Warm jumpers and winter coats may not be as useful to disaster victims in remote parts of Africa as they are to people from other parts of the world. Give some thought as to who will benefit most from your donations to ensure they have the maximum effect.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the clothes you give should be clean and of decent quality. You can make the job of recycling companies easier by making sure that everything you donate can be worn again - if garments are torn, soiled or generally not fit for purpose then they will only be discarded further down the line.

If you are donating shoes or socks, pairing them up and ensuring they are fastened together will also be useful to the companies that pass them on to those in need.

So the next time you ponder putting that jacket you no longer wear in the bin, or consider ditching last season's shoes, think that there could be someone in another part of the world who can benefit from your cast-offs. Your clothing could give somebody a new start in life when they suddenly find themselves with nothing through no fault of their own.

Written by David Atkinson

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