Landfill sites absorb one million tonnes of un-wanted clothes and fabrics every year in North London. Hackney has launched a campaign to reduce waste by encouraging residents to recycle their unwanted textiles, win a top prize and learn some new skills.
Textiles 2010 (Make Your Pledge) is aimed at reducing fabric waste in North London – enough to fill 8 football stadiums top to bottom every year. The scheme is run by the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), which manages waste disposal in the area.
Clyde Loakes, Chair of the NLWA, said: “Clothes, shoes and household textiles we no longer want are a really valuable resource. They can be put to good use by charities here and overseas, helping people who are not as fortunate as ourselves.”
“The more we can reuse and recycle textiles the less will go to landfill. That’s really important and will help protect our environment. I’d encourage residents to sign up; it’s a real win-win for everybody.”
Residents are encouraged to make their pledge by Sunday 7th November, and donate unwanted textiles by putting them into one of Hackney’s 50 textile banks rather than throwing them out with household waste. As well as the recycling locations in schools and car parks, items can also be collected through the green box scheme.
In return, there is one place up for grabs on a ‘Sew Good’ workshop run by TRAID (Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development). The charity recycles clothes from landfill to sell in their stores across London and Brighton, with funds raised to go towards helping with projects to fight global poverty. You can also buy online.
The workshops help people redesign their wardrobe and extend the life of their clothes by teaching basic mending, adjusting and remaking skills. Bring a garment and the Sew Good team will help breathe new life into it and transform it into a piece you’ll get the same thrill from as when you first bought it.
Lyla Patel, TRAID’s Head of Education, said: “We run our workshops in TRAID shops so everyone taking part is surrounded by inspiration from our fantastic preloved and vintage stock.”
“The techniques learned makes clothes last longer diverting clothes from landfill and protecting the environment. It’s fun, it’s ethical and there is nothing like basking in the glow of something that you have made yourself.”
Alice Brackley, 23 of Stoke Newington, is a big fan of ethical fashion: “I love turning my old clothes into something new, especially when my friends ask where I got it from! It works out so much cheaper as well.”