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What happens to the old clothes that are collected?

What happens to the old clothes that are collected?

Around 700,000 tonnes of used textiles are collected in Germany through street collections and collection banks. And the trend is rising. Charitable organisations collect clothing donations in order to fund their charitable work by selling it on or to fill clothing banks and other aid projects.

However, the proportion of the collected clothing accepted by Germans as second-hand clothes is only four percent. Some clothing is still hotly sought after in poorer parts of the world. Most of the textiles collected can only be used as dust cloths or in industry. The rest ends up in the waste.

The sorting exceeds the financial and organisational resources of charitable organisations. Therefore, sorting companies such as ReSales are indispensible. They sort and dispose of textiles properly and as a result create many jobs at home and abroad. They have storage capacities, trained personnel and efficient logistics.

With your clothing donation you therefore definitely help people in need. If not directly, then indirectly through the sale and income achieved.

Who makes money out of textile recycling?

Who makes money out of textile recycling?

Charitable organisations, cities and local communities and the mainly small and medium sized sorting companies earn money from used clothing collections.

The collection costs for residual waste, packaging waste or waste paper are paid for by the persons who produce it or the manufacturers. Not so in textile recycling! Without the collection banks of the European textile recycling companies, the some 700,000 tonnes of used clothing collected each year in Germany would end up in household waste. This would initially cost the public purse around 500 euros per tonne, which is ultimately charged to private households.

With their profits the sorting companies finance the high expenditure for the collection, sorting and recycling or reuse and for the jobs created. They have high technical standards and are far removed from the widespread "grubby image". In addition, the large amount of waste also thrown into the collection banks has to be disposed of for a charge.

Do exports of used clothes harm third world countries?

Do exports of used clothes harm third world countries?

 Used clothing from Western Europe does not have a negative effect on either the textile and clothing industry or the clothing trade in Africa or Central and Eastern Europe, says a current study by the umbrella association "Fairwertung", which has taken up the cause of fair use of used clothes. 

The fact that used clothing imports have no harmful effect, is also the result of a study by the Swiss academy for development (Schweizerischen Akademie für Entwicklung - SAD) on social compatibility and society's acceptance of exports to Africa. A short report by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung - BMZ) supports this statement. Among other things, it examined the effects of the used clothing exports in Benin, Cameroon and Ghana.

People in Africa, Asia or South America are not poor because they import used clothing. They buy used clothing because they are poor. The political magazine "Der Spiegel" wrote in a report that for many people in Africa it is a question of a sense of self-esteem to dress like Europeans or US Americans. Used clothing offers them the opportunity to do so.

In West Africa, an extensive "industry" has now developed around used clothing. A large number of jobs have already been created in these countries; for example, for the wholesalers, the market traders, tailors who do alterations, the dyers or shoe repairers.