British Columbia

In Metro Vancouver, 20,000 tonnes of clothes get thrown out each year

A new campaign aims to shed light on the 20,000 tonnes of clothing that residents throw away each year — the equivalent of 44 T-shirts per person. 

Region's 'think thrice' campaign aims to change habits to reduce textile waste

Metro Vancouver's 'think thrice' campaign encourages residents to reduce, repair and donate unwanted clothes to keep them out of landfills. (Metro Vancouver/Twitter)

A campaign in Metro Vancouver aims to shed light on the 20,000 tonnes of clothing residents throw away each year — the equivalent of 17 pounds, or 44 T-shirts per person. 

The Metro Vancouver Regional District recently launched its "think thrice about your clothes" campaign, encouraging residents to reduce, repair or donate clothes they no longer want.

According to a report that will be presented to the Metro Vancouver board on Friday, clothes are one of the fastest growing sources of waste in the region. The report blames "rapidly changing fashion trend cycles and low prices" for the high volume of clothes that are thrown out. 

Addressing barriers

This is the second year for the campaign. The report says research from last year's campaign showed most people are likely to donate clothes, but about 40 per cent of survey respondents said they weren't sure what can or can't be donated.

The report also says people seem to be interested in mending damaged clothes, but don't know how. 

This year's campaign aims to help people address those barriers. 

The campaign website also includes information on how to identify quality clothes — like looking for dense fabrics and reading labels — and where to donate clothes, even if they have holes or tears. 

The campaign, which began Feb. 18, also includes a partnership with Frameworq, a local non-profit that facilitates clothing swaps and clothing repair workshops. The organization regularly hosts clothing fix-it workshops across Vancouver, including at the Vancouver Public Library.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maryse Zeidler

@MaryseZeidler

Maryse Zeidler is a reporter for CBC News in Vancouver, covering news from across British Columbia. You can reach her at maryse.zeidler@cbc.ca.

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