CCCS share some eco-friendly tips for 2019

Why not swap rather than throw out unwanted Christmas clothes?

Here at CCCS, when not working on local water and waste wise projects, we like to dabble in the latest environmental trends and research, to see what the rest of the world is up to. With the holidays in full swing, this particular topic is probably pretty timely, as we open that 4th box of socks from grandma.

Now, let’s be clear on one thing: grandmas are awesome and we have absolutely nothing against grandmas (is that even possible?!) But the textile industry, when it comes to waste and water pollution, has been on our minds lately. It’s a bit of a sleeping giant when it comes to our biggest environmental challenges today.

Pesticides

When buying new, natural fibres such as cotton, wool, silk, and linen, are great when it comes to their eventual break-down. Nylon fabrics, for example, take 30 to 40 years to decompose. But unlike synthetic fibres, the production of natural fibres can consume large quantities of pesticides. Cotton, for example, is the most pesticide-intensive crop in the world. It accounts for 16% of global insecticide use.

Dyes

The dyes that are used to colour most textiles have their own environmental and human health impacts. It is estimated that 700,000 tons of dye are used globally every year, approximately 200,000 tons of which unfortunately end up as effluent: untreated, in the water system. They persist in the environment from that point, partly due to anti-microbial treatments often used in dyes, particularly those meant for natural fibres like cotton or wool.

Water

Water consumption and pollution is arguably the most environmentally damaging by-product of the textile industry. The industry uses a considerable amount of water in its production, mainly as part of the dying and finishing processes, and the wastewater produced is classified as one of the most polluting of any industry today.

Our best defence against textile industry pollution, apart from buying organic fabrics, is slowing down the production. We have a decent handful of second-hand clothing stores now in Williams Lake and it’s amazing the amount of funky, good-quality stuff you can find in there.

And if you’re not into thrift store shopping, there are many consignments and used clothing online stores as well, like ThredUp and The Attic.

There are also clothing swaps! And it just so happens that the CCCS is going to host their second clothing swap just after the holidays: join us on Wednesday, January 23rd, from 4-8pm at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre for guilt-free, zero-dollar shopping. If you haven’t been to one before, they are ridiculously fun. Check out our facebook page or give us a call for more details: 250.398.7929.

So if you’re replacing some of your wardrobe after Christmas, consider saving it for January 23rd!

WASTE WISE TIP: Did you know you can recycle textiles in Williams Lake? Just bring it to the Frizzi Rd transfer station with your other recyclables, and look for the Big Brothers Big Sisters bin. Recycled textiles for a great cause!



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