Reduce, reuse and recycle
The fashion industry has an impact on the environment, as it requires a high consumption of raw materials and energy, both in terms of production and distribution. It also involves a significant generation of waste and carbon emission.
For Humana People to People and its members the process of clothing recycle has been designed to be a business model contributing with funds to development work. It starts with generous and environmentally conscious people in Europe and the US, who donate the clothes they no longer want. Instead of becoming waste, the clothing is sorted and sold or distributed in various parts of the world, where it can be reused. The funds from the clothes which are sold, are then used to support Humana People to People projects in Africa ,Asia and Latin America.
As early as in the1970ies, Humana People to People has been promoting environmental protection by encouraging the recycling and reuse of used textile, by applying the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, which acquires a fundamental value in the fashion industry.
In 2013, Humana People to People in both Europe and USA collected more than 100.000 tones of used clothing and shoes. The volumes of second hand clothes saved from landfills and incineration demonstrate the business benefit and the benefit our planet receives from textile reuse and recycling.
By reusing clothing rather than disposing of it, we reduce the need for growing more cotton for making new clothes and less insecticides are released into the environment. Approximately 0.04 kg of pesticides are used to produce one kg of new clothes so approximately 5 million fewer kg insecticides that could wash into waterways or otherwise harm the environment are released.
The production of fabric consumes a big quantity of fresh water. The clothing collected helped save 3.200 billion liters of clean water meant for irrigation and in-process manufacturing of clothing.
The members in Europe and North America are continuing to invest in their clothes collection and clothes sales in order to stay competitive and make it possible to keep increasing their development commitments.