Ninety nine percent of our clothing are recyclable and textile recycling is a project embarked on by a number of countries such as USA, Netherlands, Finland, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Croatia, Canada, China, India, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Thailand, Portugal and Cyprus.
Africa is yet to catch up with these countries but South Africa as a country seems to be getting a hold on textile recycling ahead of other African countries.
Recycling involves making new things from damaged or condemned items to prevent further wastage or reduce manufacturing of newer items. Recycling is needed in the fashion industry to reduce greenhouse gas emission and preserve our ecosystem.
Africa is a tropical continent and we as Africans should seek measures of improving our climate rather than congesting the atmosphere.
We need to create more awareness about the importance of recycling and we can only do this by beginning from ourselves as individuals in our own little way just as the saying goes ‘little drops of water make a mighty ocean’.
As fashion designers, we can recycle textile by getting more creative and thinking outside the box through;
- Repairing or refashioning old or damaged clothing into new ones,
- Making use of unwanted factory materials and converting them into wearable fashionable clothing and
- Making use of recycled materials from polyester and other kinds of nylon fabric.
There are also various art and fashion shows about recycling in fashion around the world to encourage designers on the need for recycling in the fashion industry. Africa needs this kind of shows to gear our designers on the same course. I expect to see more textile collection centres for recycling as well as seminars educating designers on better ways of creating wearable fashionable clothing from recycled materials.