“The absolute worst thing we can do with any unwanted clothing is dispose of it in the bin, even the most threadbare item,” Cristina Sabaiduc, waste charity WRAP.
The world throws away 92 million tonnes of textile waste per year. That’s the equivalent to 11.5kg per person.
70% of Britain’s second-hand clothing is sent to countries where landfill is unregulated. Clothing that cannot be sold (around 50% is too poor quality - mainly fast fashion) ends up on Ghana’s beaches or in Chile’s deserts.
Both cashmere and wool have naturally long fibres making them ideal to be recycled. Fibres have the capacity to be recycled 4 times before they become too short - at which point they make warm, naturally fire-retardant stuffing for cushions and mattresses.
Recycled cashmere has an environmental impact that is 7 times lower than virgin cashmere.
Virgin cashmere production can cause environmental damage:
Overgrazing has caused widespread desertification of Mongolian grassland.
Water pollution particularly through dyeing
Processing second-hand fibres is a no-brainer:
Far less energy is required
No rearing of animals
No dyeing at all
There is a ‘natural’ resource of yarn sitting in the backs of drawers all over the UK.