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Recycling of garment waste succor for environment & the poor
31
Oct '08
Recycling has become a very fashionable term in present times. Adoption of recycled process is considered a part of corporate social responsibility by companies who want to present a positive image about their enterprises. Recycling also helps to reduce waste generated from manufacturing and in the process reduce damage to our environment.

The western countries had taken a lead in creating a conscious among people about using recycled products. But now it is turn of a very small country from Asia to have set the trend of recycling waste from its biggest export revenue generating sector.

It is the entrepreneurs of Bangladesh who are churning out useful materials from the waste generated from its garment units and at the same time creating income opportunities for thousands of poor people and also produce products from the waste which is within the reach and pockets of these very people.

Previously the waste used to be dumped in garbage bins creating a problem of disposal. But now every piece of waste be it cut pieces of cloth, elastic fasteners, cloth hangers, zippers, plastic bags or rejected pieces of garments are being coveted by these entrepreneurs.

The first stage of recycling starts by sorting all the items brought in from the garment factories by colour, type and condition. The unusable fabrics are recycled in to waste cotton for use in mattresses, pillows, seat stuffing which are a few of the uses put to the waste from the garment factories.

The usable clothes are bought by small garment manufacturing units who produce children's frocks, skirts, shirts, pajamas and pillow cases. These clothing and other items are mostly sold in street side stalls all around the city which is frequented by the poor from the city for their requirements.

Other than the above articles, even bandages are prepared from the leftover pieces of white cotton fabrics and garments. There are about 4,500 garment manufacturing units in Bangladesh and the garment waste collected from them is processed by more than 500 units.

In days, before recycling was taken up seriously, these clothing and garment waste used to be thrown in rivers and waste dumps creating an environmental problem. But now other than recycling of waste and helping in reducing pollution this industry is providing employment to more than 10,000 people and women in particular.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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