Finding my inner Anneka Rice – Bee&Sons

The subtext of this picture...I'd just gone for some air outside the factory in Prato where they spin the recycled cashmere yarn, from which my Bee&Sons sweater is made. It was warm in the factory.

I was flustered. I don't like being filmed. My face was getting sweaty. My recycled cashmere sweater was very insulating. Frightfully so. And son 2 said, "Just one more to camera" (he's a DOP) - and I was honestly so very boiling in that so very insulating sweater that I very nearly passed out. So that's why i have that stupid look on my face. Seconds later I was on the floor.

The point is though, recycled cashmere works. It's just as warm and snuggly as virgin fibres. What we need is more availability of recycled yarn, and more people buying into the idea.

This is what usually happens to textile waste.

Let's say, you take your holey old cashmere sweater to the local charity shop. If it's unsellable (and that's up to the volunteers working there - you could argue that it could be fixed but there aren't many darners left) - most likely it will get bagged up with other holey sweaters and sold as textile waste. Container ships crammed with plastic-wrapped bales of second-hand clothes get sent around the world - most often to countries with lax laws around pollution. Entire industries have grown up around that secondhand clothing and communities are now dependent on it. But what can't be sold for wear or recycling, gets dumped.

Last year The Independent reported that the mountain of discarded clothing in Chile's Atacama Desert is now so vast it can now be seen from space.

With the best intentions in the world, your holey old cashmere sweater may well be sat amongst a mountain of rubbish in Chile.

It's hard to hack this march to wastelands. But the more recycled knitwear that we buy, the more recycled yarn will be created. If demand for sustainably created clothing increases, if we vote with our feet, then we could start heading in the right direction.