Textile Recycling During Covid19.

Right now isn’t perhaps the best time to be talking about Textile Recycling, but it’s a good time to ponder on possibilities for the New Norm.  First though if you’re looking to recycle textiles right now, we recommend that you should be checking your Local Authority HWRC advice.   The key workers on these sites must be doing a great job under difficult circumstances, so you should help co-operate and support what they advise and keep up with their latest advice on their local websites.

Now most recycling families would know that Recycled Textiles are a key revenue earner for the Local Authorities as well as many other charities.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but the cost of transportation is harmful to the environment, and is something that should be considered, the next time you look at clearing out your wardrobe.  Not everyone has transport either, to take them to their local textile bank and at LocalitEEE (Environment, Economy & Employment where you live), we’re just looking to raise awareness that there other ways to increase the sustainability metrics of where you live, as well as dish out some great Social outcomes in a thriving community.   We need to support many more local charities as well, and our model can facilitate this.   Sainsbury’s for instance in one year alone through Textile Recycling, took over 5000 tonnes of clothing (16.3 Million garments) to Oxfam and raised £3.6M for their charity.

Hats of to them and its a worthwhile charity to support of course, and so are many more deserving local charities as well.  Equally though Poverty is a huge problem everywhere and now that we’re in a Global recession, things are going to get a lot worse for many people internationally.  However lets focus on the UK population for now as we’re looking to develop our Volunteer Currency and App as a transferable currency linked to volunteering in local communities and rewarded through business interaction.

Wasting Textiles

The Textile Recyclers Association tells us that the average UK household owns around £4,000 worth of clothes and about 30% of it hasn’t been worn in the last year? And that we bin 350,000 tonnes of used clothing every year – that’s equivalent to the weight of more than 29,000 London buses!  Wow.  That’s a staggering piece of information and perhaps a good wake-up call, that perhaps we’ve been made aware of during the Covid19 Pandemic.   Markets around the world have all but stopped, and many of the UK’s textiles actually supply other countries, particularly in Africa.  Consumption seems to be the only way we can survive on the face of it, however at LocalitEEE we believe we’re creating a transition model that will lead us to Sustainable Consumption.

LocalitEEE & Textile Recycling

Our aims in Preventing Waste and making Recycling pay for local communities are to increase local incomes and job opportunities.  So here we take a quick look at Textile Recycling to make the local community aware of the infrastructure and opportunities.

In the UK the total weight of all the clothes bought by an average person in their lifetime is only around 2 tonnes. A tonne of clothes would fill approx 15 wardrobes and approximates at around 4,000 items.  If we’re going to be sustainable, we need to consider ways of preventing this waste, such as a 1 in 1 out policy.  Establish your wardrobe individually, set yourself a limit of each clothing item and stick to it.  This would be one way and we’re sure there will be others but this is quite an easy one to manage.

Textile Pricing

Organisations who pay for recycled textiles usually pay between £3.50 – £5.00 for a black bag full, which on average is 7-10kgs.  Prices from Textile Banks (Skips) in July 2018 stood at £195 per tonne, compared to £240 per tonne at the start of that year.  Conversely, charity shop textile prices have consistently improved in 2019, reaching £333 per tonne in July and they started the year at £263 per tonne.  So there are fluctuations.

Textile Business Operators

These organisations sell bulk and sorted materials to different sectors through a distribution network as recycled rags and wiping products.  Buyers are automotive, aviation, print consumables, janitorial to name a few. Balers and Shredders are usually involved here, so some Plant Equipment has to be part of a solution to engage at these markets.


Clearly as communities we’re losing out on local revenue streams to help facilitate jobs and let people thrive sustainably in the place they choose to live.  We have an opportunity before us that LocalitEEE wants to help facilitate.  By collecting locally in a Community owned Bank, we can facilitate local seamstresses.  These fall under our Fixer Categories for more reuse and repair.  All fixers and Collectors who can sell materials, services,  products via the Community Online Local Shop, can valourise through Waste Prevention to bring personal and joint community income.  In doing so through LocalitEEE it will create new funds to help local people using the LocalitEEE PLEEECash and PLEEECoin system through the kind donations of EEESafe.

Local Volunteers can engage and be rewarded and future plant could be procured (as well as LocalitEEE Banks, as part of grants for Communities.  Sorting and shredding could cover a few Community Wards so that better organisation and less competition would make it efficient.  Waste prevention and Carbon Saving Metrics would belong to the Community, which is valuable data to help inform Local Authorities, in a partnership setup.

We operate a new Charitable Model and is different from the way most Registered Charities operate.  We applaud them in the great works they undertake, but the difference in LocalitEEE, is that you can follow exactly how the money we raise is used where you live.  We donate money from all Community Shop Transaction fees, to the tune of 25% and ring fence it to the Community Members.  From that amount we create the EEECoins and allocate them to Volunteering in the first instance of use. They will and can circulate for a while as a reusable currency.  When you purchase them at 10 pence, we put 75% cash into the same ring-fenced pot.  and offer to the Most people are unable to determine easily where their financial contributions go.  Much of it is absorbed in costs, and Charites

We can do this by working together and in other key materials as well.  LocalitEEE has structured this model, and is being designed to be under community ownership as LocalitEEE Membership rolls out and is linked to multiple Apps and it’s own Social Network and Groups free of advertising.  Sustainable Consumption starts locally in this way and the LocalitEEE EEECoin can help to interface with each other and support local businesses.

For more info, please CLICK HERE to contact us

About the author