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Making money from old clothes for a good cause

17th September, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Donating your old clothes isn’t just good for the environment but can also help raise money for a good cause.

Textile recycling company, Life Line Clothing Malaysia Sdn Bhd manager, Mohamad Zaki Suratman, said he teams up with mosques, schools and others to achieve this goal.

“Take for example a clothes collection drive held at a mosque recently where we amassed 40 tonnes of old clothes and raised RM4,000 for the mosque fund,” he told Bernama.

He said that the clothes collected every week at different locations through old clothing drives are brought to a factory in Port Klang and divided into clothes for recycling and those that can be passed on to another person.

“Clothes that are still in good condition will be donated to developing countries while the rest are recycled,” he said.

He said that the company’s clothing donation locations are available on Telegram and that it welcomes interest in collaborating to become a collection centre.

“I hope people will think before they throw anything away because it will end up on the rubbish heap, take a long time to break down and cause pollution.

“The best solution is to learn to buy less or ‘reduce’. Buy only what you need or high-quality (clothing), and look after it so that it lasts longer,” said Mohamad Zaki.

For its part, multinational clothing retail company, the H&M Group, has collected nearly 1,300 tonnes of textiles in Malaysia since 2013 at all its H&M and Monki stores via a garment collecting initiative aimed at reducing the amount of unwanted clothes going to the landfill.

H&M Southeast Asia sustainability manager, Marian Dang, said that for every kilogramme of textiles received, €0.02 (RM1 = €4.91) is donated to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

“H&M’s garment collecting initiative is one of several in-store sustainability initiatives where customers can join in the journey towards a sustainable fashion future.

“In partnership with sorting and recycling partner, I:CO, all clothes collected are either reused, reworn or recycled with zero per cent going to the landfill,” she said.

Dang said that in order to encourage customers to join the H&M sustainable fashion journey, a 15 per cent discount voucher is given for every bag of unwanted clothes handed in.

She said that the RM0.20 charged for a plastic or paper shopping bag at its stores is also donated to WWF-Malaysia to safeguard freshwater resources and ecosystems in the Klang Valley, Setiu Wetlands in Terengganu, as well as Sarawak.

“Since the launch here of the ‘Choose To Reuse’ initiative last July, H&M’s stores have managed to eliminate the use of over 1.5 million plastic and paper bags,” she said.

The company will also be launching a series of sustainability-led activities called the ‘Take Care Pop-Up’ at their flagship store in Lot 10 Shopping Mall aimed at raising awareness about responsible consumption, recycling and upcycling, said Dang.

“The free activities include an exhibition on sustainable material used in our brand garments, sustainability efforts, a garment repair station, as well as a series of upcycling and recycling workshops,” she said. – Bernama

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