Don't Dump, Donate

Published on March 07, 2019

MPP Donna Skelly’s Motion Encourages Donations That Turn Old Clothing into Cash for Charities

Hamilton – Eighty-five per cent of unwanted clothing and textiles in North America end up in landfills. That’s more than 24 billion pounds of clothing every year. So-called, fast fashion has become one of our worst polluters.

A motion introduced by MPP Donna Skelly that would encourage retailers and consumers to donate old clothing to charity was carried in the legislature today. It will result in more clothing being diverted from landfills and into donation bins.

“Most consumers are unaware of the environmental cost of fast fashion,” said Flamborough-Glanbrook MPP Donna Skelly, “This motion will keep clothing out of landfills while putting money into the coffers of local charities.”

The initiative encourages manufacturers to have additional “donate” tags or stamps on clothing items. It also encourages retailers to display the logo and set up donation bins in their stores.

“MPP Donna Skelly’s motion involving Used Clothing aligns with our commitment to encourage producer responsibility for waste diversion,” says Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, “This important initiative supports our commitment to keep Ontario beautiful, and balance a healthy environment with a healthy economy. Conservation starts at home and by promoting the diversion of used textiles from landfills we can recover valuable resources.”

The Salvation Army is just one of the many organizations supporting this initiative. The charity already diverts millions of pounds of clothing and textiles through its Thrift Stores. Diabetes Canada, who run the largest clothing drive program in the country, also supports MPP Skelly’s initiative.

Currently, only about 1 per cent of donated clothing is recycled. Donna Skelly is hoping manufacturers will see the business opportunities to invest in the technology to recycle more clothing.

As part of this initiative, Ontarians under 30 are invited to participate in a competition to design a logo that retailers can use on clothing tags, or vividly display on store signs and donation bins to encourage consumers to donate used clothing and other items.