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Throwaway fashion in the right place!

Posted on 17 September 2012

Rapidly changing fashions and cut price clothes means that for most people the age of make do and mend is over.

Buying a new garment is often far cheaper than repairing an old one. It means that every year the mountain of unwanted clothes grows larger.

Some experts estimate that a billion items of clothing and textiles and 1.5 million shoes are thrown into the dustbin by householders in the UK every year. These figures include an estimated £90 million worth of clothes that have been worn just once.

And it is not all just cheap throwaway fashion that ends up in the bin. Charity shops report donated items include top-end designer brands that have hardly been worn.

Clothes that are thrown in the dustbin end up in landfill – but this is the last place where they should be. Nearly all old clothes, shoes, curtains and belts can be reused or recycled.

But unfortunately you must not put old clothes, shoes or textiles in your recycling bin either.

So where can you recycle your unwanted clothes in West Sussex?

- Clothes banks collection points. These are dotted round the county in every district and borough. Many are at Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS) so you can drop off clothes while recycling other items. You must tie up the clothes in bags, and the HWRS take shoes, bags and belts as well. There are 11 HWRS across West Sussex.

- Charity shops welcome second hand clothes. Some only accept nearly new items for resale while others will take in older items and recycle them.

- If you have good condition items, try selling them on ebay or  other online auction sites. There may also be a second hand clothes shop near you where you can sell your clothes and receive 50% of the profit.

- Recently some leading retailers have been running clothes recycling schemes.

- Be wary of household collection charity bags. If you want to leave clothes in these, ensure it is a registered charity. There have also been instances where bogus collectors take the bags before the charity workers arrive to collect them.

Over 60% of clothing sent for recycling is sold to other countries for reuse, mostly in Africa and Eastern Europe. A further 35% is reused as mattress stuffing and insulation.  Less than 5% is of such poor quality that it has to be sent to landfill.

Remember – no textiles or shoes in any of the kerbside bins!