Seneca students weighed, sorted and graded clothing collected from garbage bins – about 600 kg of it.
Once the items were professionally cleaned and treated, the results were surprising. Most of the dumped clothing could be worn if it had been donated instead.
Some items still had the price tag on them and some were so trendy, a few students wanted to keep them.
The initiative is part of a textile waste diversion research, the first of its kind in Ontario that analyses textile waste down to the fibre level, by Prof. Sabine Weber and her students in the School of Fashion.
Discarded clothing waste is a growing global problem. Textiles take up valuable space in our landfills and release greenhouse gases as they biodegrade that contribute to climate change.
The clothing students retrieved helped form an exhibit, called Dumpster Dive, which was on display at Seneca in early January.
All the material collected will be donated to Diabetes Canada.
Photo: Seneca students create Dumpster Dive exhibit from clothes retrieved from garbage bins. Photo courtesy of Seneca College.