WRAP is running an awareness raising campaign to inspire more people to donate their unwanted clothes to reduce the amount of clothing going to landfill or relegated to the back of the wardrobe.
The campaign follows its recent Textiles Market Situation Report, which examined the flow of textiles around the economy. It found that 336,000 tonnes of clothing went to landfill or incineration between 2015-17 – an increase of 10%.
Happy New Year from the Love Your Clothes team! 🤩
Join #DonationGeneration this year and pledge to donate your unwanted garments. The UK already donates around a third of its unwanted clothing to charity and you can do your bit too. https://t.co/JvydKBDkIQ 🌍 🌲 💚 pic.twitter.com/HeplhtZm6z
— Love Your Clothes 👕 #DonationGeneration (@loveyourclothes) January 1, 2020
Population growth, rising consumption levels, lack of collection infrastructure and how long people tend keep clothes all have an impact, according to WRAP, which notes that clothing consumption increased in 2014, and estimates that people keep items on average for three years meaning spikes in disposal appear several years later. WRAP also found spending on clothing increased year on year, although the rate has slowed recently, with the UK spending around £60.5 billion on clothes per annum.
— WRAP (@WRAP_UK) January 2, 2020
In total, an estimated 620,000 tonnes of textiles were collected for re-use and recycling in 2018; an increase on the 600,000 tonnes collected the year before. Most was destined for the re-use market with 32% re-used in the UK, mostly through charity shops, and around 60% exported.
However, WRAP says, a significant proportion of clothes remain in limbo, unworn and unseen in wardrobes and it wants to encourage more people to donate their unworn items.
Peter Maddox, Director at WRAP said:
“We need to focus on ways to keep these valuable materials in the economy when we’ve finished with them. Clothing has the fourth largest environmental impact after housing, transport and food and yet every year nearly one million tonnes of textiles are burnt or buried in the UK. This is such a waste when virgin resources are under pressure, often in countries with severe water stress.”
The Love Your Clothes Donation Generation campaign highlights the variety of ways clothes can easily be donated, and the range of items that can be passed on. It encourage people of all ages to pledge to donate, and showcase passing on their pre-loved items across social media via the hashtag #DonationGeneration.
Are you part of the Donation Generation yet? Pledge to say no to landfill and help out your local charities by donating all of your unwanted clothing. https://t.co/edB4kBAoNM #DonationGeneration pic.twitter.com/mv5n6Uw6LW
— Love Your Clothes 👕 #DonationGeneration (@loveyourclothes) November 2, 2019
The campaign encourages people to make use of their local charity shops and use the Love Your Clothes Recycling Locator to find their nearest donation bank. It also gives details of the collection bag schemes organised by charities such as the British Heart Foundation and the growing number of drop-off points in high-street stores, such as the brand F&F, which is trialling collection points at eighty Tesco stores, as well as online postal schemes, such as the reGAIN app, which offer vouchers in return for donated clothing.
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