In this week’s episode of Road to Recovery with Douglas Magazine, CHEK’s Kevin Charach speaks with Fay Weller, board member of the Gabriola Island Recycling Organization (GIRO).
GIRO is a non-profit recycling facility established in 1990 as a place for Gabriola Island residents to recycle and reduce their carbon footprint. They accept recycled materials including plastics and cardboard; and also accept household items and clothes which are then repurposed and sold in the GIRO Re-store.
The organization recently launched a community initiative to tackle the critical issue of textile waste. The “C2C Threats Entrepreneurial Project” aims to inspire upcycle textile entrepreneurs to use their creative minds to transform clothing waste into useable products.
So far, item submissions include a dog bed, acoustic sound panel and a re-usable cloth to limit the use of paper towels.
The project was motivated by the eye-opening amount of clothing waste accumulated in landfills during the pandemic. According to Weller, approximately two thousand pounds of clothing is donated to GIRO on a weekly basis, and while fifty percent is repurposed in the Re-store, the other half is then donated to the Canadian Diabetes organization who in turn would sell the clothing to thrift shops including Value Village.
During the pandemic, however, Canadian Diabetes stopped gathering donations due to COVID-safety reasons and thus much of the clothing ended up in the landfill.
Weller explains in this segment how she hopes the project raises awareness on the dangers of fast fashion, how shopping habits can help or hurt the environment and why she believes fashion entrepreneurs can see financial success while embracing a sustainable model.
Road to Recovery is done in partnership with Douglas Magazine.