The Fix-it Fair is offering something new and exciting this year –a clothing swap! One of Clean’s own, Mary Christopher, wanted to bring more awareness to textile waste at the Fair and decided to have a clothing swap as an all-day workshop to celebrate the multi-lives of clothing!
The clothing and textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world, next to oil production. It takes more than 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture just one t-shirt and a pair of jeans. Enough water goes into the production of cotton to keep one person hydrated for 900 days! Now picture every new cotton shirt in stores right now, that’s a lot of water! Much of this water could be spared by recycling materials and donating used clothing. The average person throws out roughly 82 pounds of textile waste per year, that’s over three billion pounds of waste in Canada alone.
Aside from the wastefulness of clothing production, clothes can take up to 40 years to decompose. The billions of pounds of clothing and textile waste thrown away each year have been piling up with nowhere to go. Not only does the decomposition take a long time, it also releases harmful gases like methane, and most fabrics are made with dyes and chemicals that can contaminate the soil and water in the ground. And if you thought clothing took a long time to decompose, then you may be surprised to learn shoes can take up to a thousand years!
Up to 95% of textile waste put in landfills can be recycled. So, why are we constantly throwing it away? Many items you no longer wear can have a second life with someone else! Next time you clean out your closet, remember that there’s someone out there who will adore the bright blue sweater that you only wore once. Or the materials could even be repurposed into something brand new!
If you have some old clothing you’re looking to get rid of, why not bring them to the Fix-it Fair’s first Clothing Swap and get some new items for your wardrobe while you’re at it? The number of items you bring dictates the number of items you can leave with! We’ll take women’s, men’s and children’s apparel, as long as it’s clean! All left over clothing will be donated to charities.