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Metro Vancouver provides tips on clothing waste

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:38 PST, Wed March 8, 2023

Metro Vancouver has tips and resources for residents who are looking for ways to save money on clothing and reduce the volume of textiles heading to landfills.

“Metro Vancouver residents throw out an average of nearly eight kilograms of clothing per person each year, but we can change that by buying clothes made to last, sharing items we no longer need with others, and properly caring for and repairing what we already own,” said George V. Harvie, chair of Metro Vancouver’s board of directors. “Lowering expenses is top of mind for many right now, and small actions like these can help.”

People buy three times more clothing on average than in the 1980s, largely due to the prevalence of low-quality clothing and rapidly changing fast fashion trends. Clothing remains a major category of waste in the region, with 20,000 tonnes of textiles disposed of annually.

Now in its fifth year, Metro Vancouver’s Think Thrice About Your Clothes campaign encourages residents to make smart choices when shopping for clothing, to repair or repurpose what they already have, and to donate or recycle what is no longer needed.

“A torn seam shouldn’t condemn your favourite shirt to the garbage can. Sewing up a rip, replacing a lost button, or creatively repurposing an item are all inexpensive ways to get more out of what we wear,” said Sarah Kirby-Yung, chair of Metro Vancouver’s zero waste committee.

Some easy tips to prolong the lifespan of clothing:

  • Remove stains by using a dish soap solution, and blot to remove the stain and soap residue
  • Hang clothing items to dry to preserve their quality and extend their lifespan
  • Repurpose old t-shirts by turning them into rags for household cleaning

For more tips and resources for reducing, repairing, and reusing clothing and textiles, visit:

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