Clothing recycling program launched in Cork City

A campaign to recycle more clothes has been launched in the first of three cities selected for a pilot project, Developing a Circular Textile System for Ireland.

The project launched in Charleville, Co Cork, on Tuesday evening, with further launches taking place shortly in Arklow, Co Wicklow and Buncrana, Co Donegal.

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

The Donate Don’t Waste pilot project aims to understand attitudes and behaviors around unwanted clothing and home textiles, share information about where and what to donate, and facilitate donations through increased points of donations and door-to-door collections.

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

In Ireland, around 68,000 tonnes of textiles are thrown away each year by households and commercial users.

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

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

Charity Shops are key drivers of textile reuse and ICSA members include Vincent’s Charity Shops, which support the work of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SVP), the project’s charity partner .

Christine Costelloe, head of circular textiles research at CRNI, said she was delighted that there are so many ways for community members, businesses, schools and community groups to get involved and contribute positively to environmental, social and economic change.

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

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

In the pilot locations, businesses can host clothing and home textiles collections to benefit Vincent and attendees will be mapped and promoted on CRNI’s social media channels @CRNIreland.

Ms Costello said schools and community groups can share the survey on CRNI channels and donate Don’t Waste information with students, families, group members and host collections of clothing and home textiles. in favor of Vincent.

People can complete the survey on unwanted clothing and home textiles here. Respondents from each pilot site were eligible to win one of six €50 gift certificates.

To get involved and see the announcements, visit the Community Resource Network of Ireland websitecontact info@crni.ie or 087-1735184, and follow #DonateDontWaste on social media.