The Importance of Textile Recycling

Did you know that you have an incredible power to reduce pollution in the fashion industry?

Dr. Christina Dean is a former dentist turned journalist. While living in Hong Kong and writing about the environment, she saw first hand the cost of fashion production. Since most of North America’s clothing is produced in China, this accounts for a lot of the pollution there.

To combat this, she launched Redress in 2007, an environmental NGO working to reduce waste in the fashion industry by:
Educating and nurturing emerging fashion designers,
Inspiring and informing fashion consumers,
Catalysing and changing the fashion industry.

In this fascinating sixteen minute video, Dean explains the impact of the fashion industry on polluting the planet, but also shows us how we truly can make a difference. And it’s not that difficult.

Here’s my take on this :

Dean explains how we fell into the cycle of dressing in rags. We’re buying more clothes and we’re not even spending more on them. That’s because the clothing is cheap and when you get cheap, you usually get bad quality. Since clothes are so cheaply made, they don’t last as long. Because they don’t last as long, we tend to throw them out.

This is what she learned:

Clothing has a big power to change the way that we feel and the way that we act.

We need to take care of clothes. A lot were dumped because a button was missing or it had a minor stain.

You need to love that piece enough to make it last.

We have just as much power to reduce pollution in the fashion industry by what we choose to wear.

Rather that throw out all your clothes, she advocates to be more conscious of your clothing by:

1. Buying less and buying better. Never buy poorly made clothing. It’s durability is the most important factor in determining it’s sustainability. This doesn’t mean always buying new. This includes

2. Care for the clothes that you have. Wash them and repair them.

3. Recycle all of your clothing. Never throw them in the garbage.

It’s empowering to know that we actually have more control in changing pollution than the manufacturers do. By making a few minor changes, we can have a major impact.


Use Our Bins!

Use a clothing donation bin to recycle your clean, dry, odourless clothing and textiles!

Make Textile Recycling Work For You

If you are fundraising for your school, church, workplace, sports club or organizations such as Girl Guides, or Scouts, we can help arrange a textile collection to help you to raise money for your cause.

Downsize Your Wardrobe!

1 in 4 North American women own 7 pairs of jeans, but only wear 4 of them. Something to think about before your next clothing purchase.

Fix Your Own Clothes

Learn to sew! You don’t have to say goodbye to a favourite shirt just because of a little rip.

Donate! Even if it's Unwearable

Nothing goes to waste in the textile recycling industry. What cannot be reused is shredded, sanitized, and recycled into rags and upholstery.

Look for Quality

Shop at stores that use sustainable materials, organic cotton, and practice fair trade!

Think Long-Term

Buy classic clothes made to last and avoid purchasing too many pieces that follow trends and are low quality.  

Swap Don't Shop!

Swap with a friend! Organize your own clothing swap, or attend an organized one.
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