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Reduce, Reuse, Rewear: School project teaches benefits of recycling clothing

Date May 23, 2017 Author Lucy Robinson Categories News | RCO in the News

Teens from high schools across the province are hoping to raise awareness about the importance of keeping old clothes out of landfills by joining the  I Give A Sh!rt challenge.

The campaign encourages students to collect worn clothing and other textiles and donate them to charities such as Diabetes Canada.

The Recycling Council of Ontario says the latest campaign. which ran during Earth Week in April, kept 27-thousand kilograms of textiles from ending up in the province's landfills. 

"Textiles waste has reached unprecedented levels. Global production of new garments has reached 100 billion annually, which is double the amount compared to the year 2000." says Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director, Recycling Council of Ontario. "The #IGiveAShirt Challenge spotlights the importance and effectiveness of reuse and smart consumption, which are key actions that will reduce waste and production impacts."

Emma MacLennan-Nobrega, 16, said her fashion class at Mayfield Secondary School took part, hoping to show how recycling clothing can have a big impact on our environmental footprint. Mayfield, located in Caledon, is one of about 90 schools across the province to join the campaign.

MacLennan-Nobrega said while fashion is important to kids her age, it's wasteful to think of clothing as a disposable product.

"We use it and we think it's not worth anything anymore and we throw it away without even thinking about it," she said. 

Campaign partner Value Village helped sort through all the donations.

Saad Saiyed runs Toronto Recycling Redistribution Centre in Etobicoke, where donations from more than a dozen Value Village stores are brought for sorting every day.

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