You can help turn the tide on textile waste, here’s how
Phot Credit: Nikao Media
by Agnes Chung
Our throwaway culture and consumption for fast fashion has led to a growing textile waste crisis. “North Americans send 9.5 million tonnes of clothing to landfill every year, 95 per cent of which could be reused or recycled,” according to Waste Reduction Week in Canada.
The average Canadian adult throws away 81 pounds of textile annually. Encorp Pacific (Canada) website cited that in Metro Vancouver, 40,000 tonnes of textiles go to the landfill every year.
You can support waste reduction in several ways. Swap and share, re-fashion, re-sell, re-purpose or donate your clothing for a good cause. Donating is one way to reduce landfill waste, lift the burden off your shoulders and re-organize your home, while giving back to the community.
Clothes2U can help you help the community and the environment. Declutter before the New Year. On November 23, Clothes2U is hosting an “Almost Christmas” event at the Word of Life Church in Surrey from 10 am to 12:30 pm. Donate your gently-used items to Clothes2U, a ministry outreach that provides for those in need in the community.
Clothes2U is an Aldergrove-based non-profit society, an offshoot from a single parents group started by founder and president, Ernie Jantzen. The society held its first event at Langley’s Nicomekl Elementary School in 2002.
“The society is a great resource, and has helped so many people,” says Ana Lidia Chris, a benefactor who ended up having to get care for her drug addict sister’s baby.“ Jantzen went beyond his call of duty to make sure I had the provisions to care for the baby,” adds Chris who said the ministry was a lifesaver.
In 2016 and 2018, Clothes2U’s charitable work earned nominations in two Business in Excellence awards. Asked what prompted him to start the society, Jantzen wrote in his email:
“I am convinced I am following God’s will. Everyone has various talents and gifts. We are to make efficient use of them. The parable of the talents speaks to that. Matthew 25:36 and Matthew 25:40 speak to how we are to treat the forgotten elements of society. Thus when Clothes2U gives clothes and other necessities of life to those in need, we are doing it as to Him. The most rewarding part of Clothes2U is seeing the fruit of my labours, the happy faces of children as they head home with their new treasures – the expressed appreciation from the adults for having lightened their financial burden. I take comfort in the fact that I am setting an example for my children and grandchildren. What we do is much more significant to them than what we say.”
Donated items are given away free at organized events held in schools and churches across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. A $2 event admission charge helps offset operating expenses. Children 11 and under are free. “There is no limit to how much attendees can take home, but need as opposed to greed is emphasized,” added Jantzen.
Donated items must be in good condition, stain and damage free. Sizes ranging from baby to adult, both male and female are acceptable. Items include clothing, footwear, children and adult diapers, toys, linen and personal items. Small household items such as home decor, kitchenware, small appliances, books, DVDs and CDs would also be accepted.
Clothes2U does not have a store front. You can arrange for a donation pick up. Items must fit a minivan. Alternatively, drop them off at their headquarters in downtown Aldergrove. For details: www.clothes2u.ca or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.