Sustainable shop behavior - recycling of clothing

Sustainable shop behavior - recycling of clothing

Sustainable shop behavior - recycling of clothing

Sustainable shop behavior - recycling of clothing

Continuing where we left off last week, this week will be about the reusing and recycling of clothing.

Although it feels like Spring has already started this week, shops and terraces are unfortunately still closed. Around this time of year, shops would be normally be displaying a lot of brightly coloured dresses and other summer apparel. In total, more than one hundred billion dresses, t-shirts, pairs of pants, jackets, and other articles of clothing flood the market yearly.

The demand for clothing is unfortunately not that innocent. The clothing industry contributes significantly to the pollution of the Earth. To demonstrate the pollutive nature of the clothing industry, I would like to use the footprint of one pair of jeans as an example: per pair, a total 20,000 litres of water (equivalent to 200 showers), 32 kilograms of CO2 (equivalent to 150 kilometres of driving) and a significant amount of pesticides and chemicals are required.

Luckily, the fashion sector has become increasingly more aware of their impact on the environment. More and more brands are trying to start sustainable initiatives to counteract the pollution.

But what can you and I do about this?

On the radio, I heard about Drop & Loop, an initiative focused around the creation of a circular-economical system to reuse and recycle second-hand clothing. A pilot was started at the Albert Heijn in Krimpen aan den Ijssel, where people can hand in their clothing for a small sum of money. Using this system, the entrepreneurs are trying to get people to hand in their clothes instead of throwing these out. Handing in clothing needs to be just as easy as handing in empty (beer) bottles. Through the website of Drop & Loop you can make a request for the creation of a drop-off point near you. When Drop & Loop receives more than 250 requests near a specific city or village, they will try to find a location in the vicinity.

Until Leiden gets one of these drop-off points, there are other ways to reuse and recycle your clothing:

Salvation Army

Throughout the Netherlands, there are a number of Salvation Army drop-off points where you can donate your clothing. Besides clothing, you can also donate other textiles and shoes. The Salvation Army collects the clothing, textiles, and shoes to give to people who need it most, as well as to contribute to the betterment of the environment.

Dierenlot foudation

The Dierenlot Foundation also has several drop-off points for textiles. Leiden already has one, it can be found at the local animal shelter, called Stevenshage. By donating to Dierenlot, you can help animals in need.


Through the Vinted app, you can easily buy and sell (second-hand) clothing or furniture. By selling your possessions, nothing will go to waste AND you can make a pretty penny on the side. Take a nice picture of that blouse and think about a price. It is easy like that! Using the app, you can easily manage your preferences for specific brands and/or products, making it very easy for you to get your hands on some second-hand items!

Trift store

If you prefer browsing in shops, you might want to have a look at a thrift store near you, once they reopen. Thrift stores also usually accept clothing or furniture donations, so what are you waiting for?

Textile binsIf you cannot find a way to recycle or reuse your clothing, check out the Milieu Centraal website to find more information on throwing out your textiles in the designated textile bins.

Posted on 26 February 2021, at 05:19 PM

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