Clothes recycling sometimes referred to as textile recycling is the process of converting old clothes into materials for future products, by recycling the fabric and other clothing parts.
Clothes that are donated to charities or go to thrift stores are often sold for profit and do not get recycled.
Clothing recycling facilities (textile recycling companies) turn these clothes into reusable garments and new products. They also create new jobs in the process.
Clothing recycling is a worldwide phenomenon with more than three hundred thousand people working in this field across Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America.
These workers collect old clothes, extract raw materials from them according to their specific qualities and then use them as raw material in textile manufacturing processes to make new textiles such as T-shirts or grocery bags that can be used by consumers.
It is always important to be aware of the clothes recycling options that are nearby.
Since there are many ways in which you may be able to recycle your old clothes and textiles, not every recycling company will accept all materials.
Some textile recyclers focus on specific types of clothing, like activewear or cotton fabrics.
Others can take a bushel of any type of textile while some do not take any clothing at all.
Read Also: Old Paper Recycling Process Complete Guide
There are also group drop-offs and events that allow you to donate your clothes in larger quantities and make it easier for homeless shelters, refugees, and other charitable organizations to benefit from them by making it easy for their volunteers to organize sizable donations.
However, clothing recycling is a great way to help the environment and reduce the number of clothes that are being thrown away in landfills.
Here are a few reasons why it’s worth it.
1. Clothing recycling saves natural resources
The process of recycling clothing saves natural resources like water, energy, and air pollution. It also prevents landfills from filling up with excess clothing.
2. Clothing recycling reduces waste
Recycling clothes is a great way to reduce landfill waste because it keeps all those items out of landfills where they will stay for centuries or millennia.
3. Clothing recycling helps preserve wildlife habitats
Landfills are one of the largest sources of methane gas in our atmosphere and recycling clothes instead can reduce that effect.
4. Clothing recycling helps to save money
Recycling old clothes helps to save money that would be used in buying new clothes or manufacturing new products.
Clothes Recycling (Textile Recycling) Process
The process of recycling textiles is a complex one, with many potential environmental and social impacts.
It involves taking used clothing and textile scrap and turning it into new clothing or other textile products.
It is also a process that has been in place for many years in the fashion industry.
Recycling old clothes has several benefits for both the environment and for people’s bank balances as explained above.
There are many different ways to recycle textiles. Which involves:
1. Creating Awareness
The first step is to create awareness to the general public about the advantages and purpose of recycling clothes.
Without the public knowing about it, it would be hard for clothing recycling industries to function.
When the public is aware of the recycling factories for clothes, the next step involved is to collect all old clothes or unused clothes to avoid them going to the landfills.
However, most textile recycling companies provide drop-off centres.
3. Sorting and Categorizing
The third step involved in the recycling process begins when the clothing vendor separates pieces of clothing into different bins.
The clothes are then sorted and categorized to identify what kind of fabric they are made from (polyester, cotton, wool, etc.).
The sorted clothes are then washed to remove any unwanted dye or chemicals.
The most common method is to shred them into pieces and then wash them. This process can be done in a variety of ways, but the goal is always to remove any dirt or debris that might be left on the fabric.
The various textiles are shredded to reduce them to tiny fibres and then combined into large bales and pulped.
Pulping is a chemical decontamination process that removes all chemical contaminants including residual dyes, heavy metals, solvents, and finishes.
After shredding, the next step in the process is called “dewatering” which means that all of the water must be removed from the shredded fabric.
This can be done by using a vacuum or simply letting it dry out naturally. And finally, the last process is called “carding” which involves combing through the fabric until it becomes fluffy and soft again.
Read Also: Motivation and It’s Relation to Learning