Clothes recycling scheme launches in Cork town

16 Mar 2022

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In Ireland, about 68,000 tonnes of textiles are discarded every year by householders and commercial users

A push to recycle more clothing has been launched in the first of three towns selected for a pilot project, Developing a Circular Textiles System for Ireland.

The project was launched in Charleville, Co Cork, on Tuesday night, and further launches will take place shortly in Arklow, Co Wicklow, and Buncrana, Co Donegal.

It is being run by Community Resources Network Ireland’s (CRNI) innovation and demonstration project, which will inform national policy, and is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPAs) Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy.

The Donate Don’t Waste pilot aims to understand attitudes and behaviours around unwanted clothing and home textiles, share information on where and what to donate, and make donations easier through increased donation points and door-to-door collections.

All clothing and home textiles have value and keeping them in circulation for longer within Ireland has the potential to save environmental resources and create local jobs and training opportunities.

In Ireland, about 68,000 tonnes of textiles are discarded every year by householders and commercial users.

By comparison, about 14,500 tonnes of textiles are reused by Irish Charity Shops’ Association (ICSA) members.

If just 15% of discarded textiles were reused, there could be environmental savings of over 100,000 tonnes of carbon.

Charity shops are the main drivers of textile reuse and ICSA’s members include Vincent’s charity shops, who support the work of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP), the project’s charity partner.

Christine Costelloe, CRNI’s Circular Textiles Research leader said they’re delighted that there are so many ways for community members, businesses, schools, and community groups to get involved and positively contribute to environmental, social, and economic change.

Community members in pilot locations can donate clean and dry unwanted clothing and home textiles at existing collection points, at new collection points, and door-to-door collections.

Businesses can share the survey and Donate Don’t Waste information with customers.

In pilot locations, businesses can host clothing and home textile collections to benefit Vincent’s and those participating will be on a map and promoted on CRNI’s social media channels @CRNIreland.

Ms Costello said schools and community groups can share the survey on the CRNI channels and Donate Don’t Waste information with students, families, group members, and host clothing and home textile collections to benefit Vincent’s.

People can take the survey on unwanted clothing and home textiles here. Respondents in each pilot location could win one of six €50 gift vouchers.

To get involved and view announcements, visit the Community Resources Network Ireland website, contact info@crni.ie or 087-1735184, and follow #DonateDontWaste on social media.