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Caring about the planet…one tiny step at a time

12 Feb
Clothing recycling at its best

Clothing recycling at its best

I know this is not my normal topic of conversation, but I have extensive content experience within conservation, so this is a topic which is close to my heart.

I met a woman the other day.

I met a very inspiring woman the other day.

She is a ‘Independant Mom’ – her description, which personally I love! She hasn’t had it easy, but exudes enthusiasm and energy which is wonderfully refreshing!

This woman’s name is Janice De Waal and she is trying to do her bit to reduce landfill sites with clothing. Mostly all by herself. When I met her, I couldn’t resist doing something on my blog that might just raise a bit of awareness and maybe even earn her a bit of support along the way. Now get me onto a subject like this and I could go on forever! I promise I won’t though…as you might fall asleep at your desk!

Her background is in the clothing industry…she has worked in various careers like being a fashion editor, stylist and buyer amongst other things. She has an absolute love of fashion, so let’s call her a bit of a fashionista with a twist! One of her specific interests is in vintage fashion, which has led her on a very interesting path. She was doing research for an article on the life-span of underwear – yes really! Whilst in one of her roles she came across some international research which showed that underwear has a life span of 6 to 24 months (obviously depending on who’s wearing it!) This fuelled her interest and she did more research on the life-span of clothes, which is approximately 4 years. She then started to dig deeper for the path that our clothes take in South Africa, and more specifically in the Mother City, Cape Town. She searched and searched, but came up empty-handed. Four years ago there was no process for the ‘recycling’ of clothes.

Single-handedly she has met with government institutions, fashion institutions amongst many others to try to get a better understanding of how things work. To this day, in South Africa, we don’t have a process surrounding the recycling of clothes – and all this time our land fill sites are filling up and becoming more and more of a problem.

So what does this lovely lady do? Basically she collects clothes from people, out of her own will. Once these clothes are collected, she tries to do a number of things…she will host parties at your home and then you and your friends can shop at your leisure.  She also tries to pass the clothing on to the wider communities who can either sell the clothes and make money or they can choose to donate the money they’ve made to a charity of their choice.

Internationally, there are brilliant clothing recycling programmes in place, for example, you can take your old clothes to some retailers and you get clothing vouchers in return. What a brilliant idea. I’m sure in South Africa at some point we’ll be able to catch up.

Janice is doing this single-handedly…that’s quite a task that she’s taken on. But, it only takes one to start the ball rolling – doing their little bit for the earth one tiny step at a time! If you are in South Africa, perhaps you could spread the word, tell your friends and do your bit for our very precious earth.

Take a look at Janice’s website… and see if there is anything that you can do to help!

Recycling fashion

Recycling fashion

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