Green Inspiration BC Ltd., based out of Richmond BC, is extremely excited about what their business is doing to help the environment and lessen the impact of fast fashion on global climate change.
Pavel Lalev, who is the company’s Administrative and Development Manager, says that most people don't realize the impact that their shopping habits have on the planet, and for that reason, he is proud of the work his company does. "I think it's a big social benefit, to have companies like ours. Otherwise, clothing recycling is not a current priority to governments. It's up to the private sector to pick up this slack."
Lalev adds that in a given year, up to six percent of household waste is textiles – cheaply made clothing purchased from retailers who are making it out of cotton and plastic blends. "Imagine what that adds to a landfill," he says. "Our work is diverting textile waste from landfills."
Lalev says that while clothing collection fluctuates, one thing their business can always count on is seasonal clean ups.
"Spring cleaning is huge for us," he notes. "But in a given year, we still collect about 1200 tonnes of textiles, with 200 bins all over the Lower Mainland and greater Victoria area." He adds that 90 percent of what people deem no longer suitable for their closets is resellable. About 15-20% of items in better condition are sold in North America. Otherwise, the items are shipped to Africa, Asia or South America to countries with vast populations of less fortunate individuals, where they are sold for highly affordable rates.
"The rest goes to rags, and for purposes such as stuffing for car seat insulation." Lalev also adds that many of the collected clothes have a lot of plastic in them, and are hard to upcycle or recycle. He says that he is proud of the work his company does, not only because items are being diverted from landfills, but because "less affluent people can't afford new clothes, and this helps them out." He adds that regardless if the company makes a profit in a given month it still donates a flat amount to their local charity partners, the Boys & Girls Club of South Coast BC and the BC Yukon Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.
"It's nice," Lalev says, "to do work that helps people."
To find out more about Green Inspiration, please visit this page.