A group of Drexel University students and their professor are tackling textile waste — one discarded garment at a time. Rachel Higgins, professor of Design and Merchandising at Drexel and co-founder of Pennsylvania Fibershed, said she and her students are starting local to address “a huge clothing waste problem” worldwide.

For the past week, student volunteers sorted through bins collected by the student-led Too Good to Toss program. The student-led program reduces trash and waste left behind when students move out. “It’s pretty astounding the amount of waste that there is and the amount of stuff that students get rid of,” Higgins said. “And it just shows where we’re at as a society. I think this is a small microcosm that shows really just how much stuff people have, how much stuff they’re willing to just toss and get rid of. And I think it also shows how people don’t really know what happens to their clothes when they donate them.”

About 80% of donated clothes end up in landfills, Higgins said, or in global marketplaces in countries such as Ghana, or the giant clothing dump visible from space in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

To read the full story, visit https://whyy.org/articles/drexel-professor-students-take-a-deeper-look-at-textile-waste/.
Author: Emily Neil, WHYY PBS
Image: Emily Neil, WHYY PBS