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Not All Textile Waste Is Created Equal: RESYNTEX Citizen Labs on Shopping, Disposal and Recycling in Manchester

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According to the World Resources Institute, roughly 20 pieces of clothing are manufactured per person each year. While today’s consumers tend to purchase 60% more clothing than in 2000, they keep it for about half as long. Understanding what consumers do with textile items and clothes they no longer want or need is a crucial element of the RESYNTEX project.

RESYNTEX and its partners Prospex Institute and the Manchester Metropolitan University have therefore designed the Citizen Labs, as an entertaining and interactive way of collecting information about stakeholders’ behaviour when it comes to disposing or recycling clothes and textiles. Complementing traditional survey techniques with exercises where participants were able to interact with textile items and choose whether to discard them. Attendees participated in an exciting and ludic experience encouraging them to share and explain their daily experience with textile waste.

By considering purchase, donation and disposal motivators, as well as information and communication preferences, RESYNTEX is carving out strategies to effectively communicate with citizens regarding responsible end-of-life options for clothes and textiles, and to widen citizens’ participation in textile collection schemes. This increases the supply of used clothes and textiles being recycled and diverts them from landfill and incineration.

The first editions of the Citizen Labs have been held in Manchester, UK, in the beginning of October, and the next RESYNTEX Citizen Lab is soon heading over to Maribor, for a new round of interactive sessions with pupils and students in Slovenia!

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eu funding

RESYNTEX received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 641942.