From rags to riches

Fabric is very easy ro reuse and recycle. Not long ago, rag men went through the streets of every town, buying unwanted clothes and other rags. They separated the different kinds of fabric and sold them to factories for recycling. There arc still plenty of rag men all over the world. They may not go from house to house, but they still buy unwanted fabric and send it to factories for recycling. Rags are an important industry.

Some rags are made into new fabrics. Natural fabrics like cotton and wool are easier to recycle than man-made fabrics. You can separate the fibres and make them into new fabric.

A lot of work clothes are made from recycled rags. Some rags arc made into a kind of pulp which is used for beds and chair seats. Some become industrial rags for cleaning dirty hands and machinery. Man-made fabrics are made into little balls, which arc used for packing. Industry is very good at recycling fabric. Nothing is wasted.

In some countries, there are 'fabric banks' to encourage ordinary people to recycle their waste fabric.

Clothes in a charity shop

Sorting rags, India

Recycling Fabric

Clothes in a charity shop

Sorting rags, India

But many things are much too good to put in fabric banks.

Long ago, people did not have many clothes and they wore them for a long time. Today, many people have lots of clothes and they throw them away when they are tired of them. But the clothes arc still good and it is wrong to waste them. Many schools in Britain have shops where parents can exchange their children's school uniform. There are 'nearly new' shops for adults which do the same thing. People who shop there are conserving materials, energy and money.

Charities like Save the Children and The Red Cross welcome unwanted clothes. They sell some in their charity shops. They give some to poor people. 'They sell the worst clothes to the rag men for recycling. Nothing is wasted.

Have you ever been to a car boot or a jumble sale? They are an important way of recycling jumble -unwanted things - in some places. Every Saturday there are thousands of jumble sales all over Britain. There, all kinds of unwanted things - clothes, furniture, washing machines - arc sold very cheaply.

The money is often given to charity. Jumble sales are a good place to buy books and clothes. Do people have jumble sales where you live?

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Responses

  • INNES
    Which man made fabrics are easiest to recycle?
    8 years ago
  • stephanie
    How they recycle clothes in india?
    8 years ago

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