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Recover 1.5 million items of clothing in just 9 days to avoid the emission of 1,200 tons of CO2 during that period. This is the challenge that Humana Fundación Pueblo para Pueblo faces during the European Week for Waste Prevention, which is celebrated from November 18 to 26.
In last year's edition, the entity collected 1.4 million and now wants to increase this record to give a second life to as much textile waste as possible.
Humana promoted “The million recovered garments challenge” in the latest editions of the European Waste Prevention Week. After falling short of achieving it on several occasions, last year the response was overwhelming: donations amounted to 349 tons throughout Spain, equivalent to 1.4 million items of clothing.
“This action prevented this enormous amount of textile waste from ending up in a landfill,” says Rafael Mas, director of Projects and External Relations of the Foundation, who estimates that 1,266 tons of CO2 were avoided thanks to this management. “This year we want to go further, to raise awareness among the population of the importance of placing clothes and footwear that they do not need in the appropriate containers, and thus ensure that the numbers of reused clothing go up,” he says.
The European Week for Waste Prevention promotes the celebration of common awareness-raising events; On each occasion a thematic day is celebrated and in this 15th edition the focus has been on the importance of reducing packaging.
Where to deposit used clothes
Donations are deposited at the selective collection points for used clothing, either in one of the 5,000 green containers on public roads or those inside the 50 sustainable fashion stores that the entity has in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and Granada.
The recovered textile waste is transferred to the Foundation's two preparation plants for reuse, in Leganés (Madrid) and l'Ametlla del Vallès (Barcelona). Six out of every 10 garments sorted have a new life through reuse, a proportion that increases to 90% when recycling processes are added.
“The management of these items of clothing and footwear allows them to return to the market as sustainable and reused fashion. This process has an environmental and also social purpose, since the funds generated allow the execution of development cooperation projects in Southern countries and social actions in Spain,” indicates Rafael Mas.
“As specialists in preparation for reuse, our goal is to obtain the maximum use of textile waste, being faithful to the EU Waste Hierarchy, which places prevention and reuse ahead of recycling and disposal,” he adds.
Actions during European Week
Humana promotes several awareness-raising actions within the framework of the European Week for Waste Prevention: