Textiles are one the most common household items and represent a staggering proportion of the solid wastestream: approximately 16kg per person, or a total of 33,600 tonnes in Metro Vancouver in 2006, to give you an idea.
Despite the volume of this waste, few options exist to reuse or recycle salvageable textile items - and next to none for those items that can not be resold. As a result, these textiles end their still-functional lives in the landfill or waste-to-energy incinerator.
Our Social Fabric believes that this unnecessary waste can be not only be avoided, but channeled to create positive change in Vancouver's most impoverished neighbourhood. Aside from the obvious benefits of reducing the waste we are diverting to landfills and waste-to-energy facilities, textile recycling can have a direct impact on the socio-economic viability of the downtown east side. Jobs are needed now, and our goal is to recycle donated and salvaged textiles into new products, from clothing to utility products.
We invite Metro Vancouver residents to get involved by donating their textiles, time, or resources to this innovative initiative. Witness and take part in the birth and growth of this unique venture, which not only benefits the environment but the economy and all citizens of our community.