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Textile recycling!

September can feel like the start of the new year for many particularly as it’s when the school calendar starts. Some students say that they often launch into September with new resolutions. On my list is shedding a few pounds post holiday,  reducing our single use plastic and I noticed Love Your Clothes have launched ‘Secondhand September’.

I have always hated clothes waste, and I wanted to share with you what I have been up to the last few days, in an effort to reduce waste and recycle in so many different ways.


New school uniform was unpacked and washed and labelled. I know its not a job loved by all by name labelling really does mean things get returned to you if lost. (once even a school coat – but I had also written my phone number on the label). Yes of course my children have hand sewn on name labels! Outgrown school uniform has been passed on to other homes where they were gratefully received. 


Worn only a few times sports footwear has been sold on internet for sale forums.


The holiday clothes have been sorted and packed away for next summer in a moth proof zip bag. Pre-loved immaculate curtains have been hung. Summer clothes that won’t fit the children next year have been put to one side for family members.


The old curtains (not good enough for the charity shop) and school jumper covered in permanent pen have been taken to the local textile recycling point where they will be sorted and up-cycled.


Today I am wearing a Boden dress that I bought in a charity shop for £8. It was floor length, hadn’t been worn – not that that would bother me, so it has been shortened into a shift so that I wear it frequently. In last nights class one student was mending a blouse and re-hemming trousers, whilst another was cutting up worn out jeans to make patchwork cushions.


Over the summer I watched a fascinating TV programme where landfill over the last few decades were being excavated to see what had deteriorated. The excavation of a 1970s site near Birmingham produced a complete polyester child’s garment.

Please think before you throw any textiles in the bin!

September 18, 2019