Arklow community encouraged to participate in ‘Donate Don’t Waste’ textiles research pilot

Arklow has been selected as a pilot area for the Donate Don’t Waste separate textiles collection pilot, part of Community Resources Network Ireland’s (CRNI) innovation & demonstration project, Developing a Circular Textiles System for Ireland, which will inform national policy. This project is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy grant-aid funding programme. CRNI, SVP – Vincent’s Charity Shops East Region, Wicklow County Council, St. Mary’s College and Clean Technology Centre at MTU are involved in the Arklow pilot project.

The Donate Don’t Waste pilot in Arklow aims to understand attitudes and behaviours around unwanted clothing and home textiles through a survey, share information on where and what to donate, and make donations easier through community collections. The survey can be found at www.donatearklow.ie and the community collections are taking place on 25 May from 3:30–5:30pm at St. Mary’s College car park and 1 June from 10am–3pm at the Arklow Recycling Centre.

All clothing and home textiles have value and keeping them in circulation for longer within Ireland has potential to save environmental resources and create new local jobs, training and business opportunities. The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions. In Ireland, about 68,000 tonnes of textiles are discarded every year by householders and commercial users. By comparison, about 14,500 tonnes of textiles are reused by Irish Charity Shops Association (ICSA) members. If just 15% of discarded textiles were reused, there could be environmental savings of over 100,000 tonnes of carbon.

Charity shops are the main drivers of textile reuse and ICSA’s members include Vincent’s charity shops, who support the work of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP), the project’s charity partner.

Christine Costelloe, CRNI’s Circular Textiles Research Lead, said “We’re delighted that the Arklow community is getting involved in the project by taking the survey and donating clothing and home textiles, which will positively contribute to environmental, social and economic change.”

Dermot McGilloway, National Retail Development Manager for SVP, said “At Vincent’s charity shops, we are an essential link in the circular economy, enabling local donors to pass on pre-loved items for

reuse in our local communities. We are committed to tackling the twin problems of poverty and deprivation on the one hand and the excessive consumption of fast fashion on the other.” Take the survey on unwanted clothing and home textiles at www.donatearklow.ie. Respondents could win one of six €50 One4All gift vouchers.

Donate clean and dry clothing and home textiles at existing collection points, including charity shops, and at two community collections: Wednesday, 25 May from 3:30–5:30pm at St. Mary’s College car park, St. Mary’s Road, Arklow, Co. Wicklow, Y14 FA38 and Wednesday, 1 June from 10am–3pm at the Arklow Recycling Centre, Arklow Croghan Industrial Estate, Emoclew Road, Arklow, Co. Wicklow, Y14 K381. Donations will benefit SVP – Vincent’s Charity Shops East Region.

Share survey and Donate Don’t Waste information with friends, families, students, staff members, customers and community group members, for example.

To get involved, view the latest announcements and see details about the community collections, visit www.donatearklow.ie, contact info@crni.ie or 087 173 5184, follow #DonateDontWaste and @CRNIreland on social media.

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