Arklow joins a national initiative to create a circular economy for apparel and textiles

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A new initiative to encourage more clothing and textile recycling is launched today at Arklow at St Mary’s College.

onate, Don’t Waste is a project created by Community Resource Network Ireland, the island-wide network for community reuse, recycling and waste prevention.

Their goal with this initiative is to develop a circular textile system for Ireland. Arklow is one of three Irish sites selected to take part in the pilot project.

Christine Costelloe, Circular Textiles Research Manager, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Arklow, and it is one of three areas in Ireland that we are looking at; there is also Charleville, County Cork and Buncrana in County Donegal.

“We chose the Arklow area as we worked closely with Wicklow County Council and their Environment Officer, and Arklow is very involved in the environment, particularly their townhouses are very successful. Arklow’s height also matches the profile of what we’ve looked at in previous research.

She added: “The main issue is that all clothing and textiles really have value, and keeping them in circulation in Ireland has the potential to save environmental resources and create local jobs and training opportunities.

“Many people don’t know how much textile waste there is in Ireland – 68,000 tonnes of textile waste is thrown away each year by households and commercial users.”

At Arklow, the project aims to understand attitudes and behaviors towards unwanted clothing and textiles, which includes sharing information on where and what to donate, and raising donation points to facilitate donation.

Christine said the plan at Arklow is to create two drop-off days, the first on May 18 and the second on June 1 at the Arklow Recycling Center between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and 3 p.m.

In addition to the collection points, the CRNI has also set up a survey which allows participants to win an All4One voucher of €50.

“In Arklow and Ireland we try to make textile donations easier and educate people about what they can and cannot donate to charity shops,” Christine said. “You can donate to clothing banks, but ideally charity shops are the best donation point as they can get money from donations.

She added: “As well as working with Wicklow County Council, St Vincent’s Arklow and the Eastern Region, we are delighted to also be working with students from St. Mary’s College TY, who have studied the impacts of fast fashion on the environment.”

This link is why the Arklow Donate, Don’t Waste campaign launch will take place at St Mary’s on Wednesday 18th May.

The project is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy grants program and all donations will benefit St Vincents, the project’s charity partner.

To find out more about Donate, Don’t Waster and their investigation, visit donatearklow.ie

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