This is a theme that means a lot to me: the second life we can give to our clothes, shoes or accessories. For me a garment that goes straight to the trash is a failure, that’s partly why I have a problem with fast-fashion. In this post dedicated to recycling and second life for our clothes, I don’t want to give any lessons, no, I just wish to propose solutions and to share with you on that point: you surely can teach me things!
Numbers first: in France, 75% of our clothes end up in the trash. This is huge, especially when you know what you can do with them!
Recycle our clothes
Now the question is: what can we do with clothes we don’t want or need anymore? Did you know that for example they can be transformed into insulation for buildings? That’s what we call circulat economy: to make it simple, it means collecting waste from an industry, valueing and reusing them to product something else. That’s what some businesses propose us to do by putting containers at our disposal. Yes, you read right “businesses”. You may think that you donate clothes to a charity association, but in fact you provide a company with free raw material.
This is due to the excellent report on French TV who lifted the veil on this subject, and showed that some companies did not hesitate to use Red Cross’ logo for example to mislead us or to send collected clothing in countries of low labor costs just to sort them (hello carbon print!) that I became very vigilant on this point. Besides, my town recently installed one of these containers; as I googlised the “association” I discovered it was a sect according to the French Parliament! So, I only use the Relais‘ containers: a french company which created over than 2200 insert jobs in France. Le Relais sells in its own stores garments in good condition and recycle others.
I personnaly use le Relais’ containers to donate damaged clothes or shoes. Bu what do I do with the rest?
Give or sell our clothes
I consider that it is fundamental that associations like the Red Cross or le Secours Populaire or many others still get good garments, I put mine directly in their buildings. You can easily find them by looking on their websites or you can call them directly.
Of course, you can donate to your friends or family! I am very delighted that some friends of mine lend me clothes for my daughters. It’s an economic AND an ecological gain.
You also have more and more bloggers or friends who get rid of some clothes. You spend a good time and you can find very good deal!
So, I hope this post will help you see more clearly if you’re interested. In bonus, here are some interesting websites to recycle:
Glasses: in Europe and in the US, 10 million pairs of glasses in good condition are discarded when so many people can’t affort to buy some! I already used Lunettes sans frontière. You have to pay for shipping. Otherwise, brands like Krys sometimes organize collection for humanitarian purposes.
Professional clothes: help those who have a job interview or who start a contract to have suitable clothing: this is the very good idea of the Cravate Solidaire. You can contact them privatly or even organize a collection in your company with their help!
PS: just to let you know: in my garbage bag, there were real clothes and shoes that I put in le Relais’ container located on this bridge in Lyon.
Made in France: Rodier shorts, Camille Enrico cuff, Repetto babies, Manufacture Gerbe tights // Rodier jacket, Petit Bateau T-Shirt