St. Mary’s College students along with Community Resources Network Ireland (CRNI) greeted the many Arklow community members who donated preloved clothing and home textiles on Wednesday, 25 May. The 100 bags collected and weighed by the students on the day will benefit SVP – Vincent’s Charity Shops East Region and provide information for CRNI’s innovation and demonstration project, Developing a Circular Textiles System for Ireland, being piloted in Arklow. The project is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy grant-aid funding programme.
Christine Costelloe, CRNI’s Circular Textiles Research Lead, said “We are so grateful for the participation of St. Mary’s College and the Arklow community in the pilot project. Through this collection, the students and community members contributed to important research that will inform national policy on the separate collection of textiles.”
Donate Don’t Waste 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 next community collection is taking place on Wednesday, 1 June from 10am–3pm at the Arklow Recycling Centre, Arklow Croghan Industrial Estate, Emoclew Road, Arklow, Co. Wicklow, Y14 K381. Arklow community members can bring bags of clean and dry clothing and home textiles there and a donation list can be found at www.donatearklow.ie. This collection is being hosted by Wicklow County Council and the project’s technical partner, Clean Technology Centre at MTU, will be there on the day to collect and weigh the bags. Donations will benefit SVP – Vincent’s Charity Shops East Region.
The Arklow community is also encouraged to take the clothing and home textiles survey at www.donatearklow.ie to inform the research project. Respondents could win one of six €50 One4All gift vouchers.
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. In Ireland, about 68,000 tonnes of textiles are discarded every year by householders and commercial users. If just 15% of discarded textiles were reused, there could be environmental savings of over 100,000 tonnes of carbon.