2,000 liters of water for one t-shirt
Newly produced clothing has major effects on the environment before it is sold in German stores. Obtaining raw materials, fiber production, textile production and transport draw valuable resources from nature. The high energy consumption that goes hand in hand with production damages the atmosphere.
Up to 2,000 liters of water are used to produce a single t-shirt, most of which is used during cotton production. Cotton plants are very sensitive and have to be watered well. However, too much rain damages the buds (they absorb it fully and then rot). For this reason, cotton is grown in low rainfall areas that have to be watered artificially, which has added negative effects on the environment.
In order to conserve resources and for the sake of the environment it is therefore advisable and necessary to close the textile cycle and bring used clothing in to be collected legally.
Clothing consumption without restraint does not remain without consequences
Today, in the realm of textile retail, cheap chain stores, digital marketplaces and new clothing stores are popping up like mushrooms. The growing number of brands and labels have a positive effect on the variety of styles and also for the consumer's wallet. The unchecked growth of textile retail on the other hand and the increasing consumption of clothing in shorter time intervals lead to irreparable damage to the environment. Additional and far-reaching implications for humans and the environment are inevitable due to textile production, which is constantly being stoked.
The results: Low wages below any standard in many textile producing countries on earth, life-threatening workplaces due to badly built production facilities, brownfield sites and desolated natural landscapes threatened with drying up. Textile recycling is the order of the day.
High quality second hand goods are a real alternative
The clothing coming from the textile industry gets to the consumer through textile retail. In the age of the internet, rampant clothing consumption is a fact. The consumer can take notice of it, ignore it, approve of it or fight it. At the end of the day, the consumer is responsible for how much more of the earth's resources will disappear in the future and for how quickly living conditions become worse due to excessive clothing consumption.
The consumer doesn't need to purchase an average of five new items of clothing per week, as a Greenpeace study showed. He/she is free to select a form of consumption that is environmentally-friendly. High-grade second hand goods from Striebel Textil, obtained from professional used clothing recycling, is a real alternative!
These days, you don't have to sacrifice anything when it comes to fashion and being in style. Especially since so much high quality like-new clothing, expensive designer clothing and retro items can be found in the recycling - more than ever before.
Be cautious of collection notices with cell phones
Caution should be exercised when it comes to illegal collections and containers. According to professional estimates there are 120,000 used clothing containers in Germany, 15,000 of which are on the market illegally. According to the FairWertung association, legal containers always display the complete address and telephone number of the collecting organization.
If there is no information about the collecting organization, the container is suspicious at the least. Illegal containers are often found at bus stations, street intersections, undeveloped properties, sometimes right beside a legal container.
Advertising slogans that evoke compassion, like "Assistance for flood victims" or "Help so that we can help" should make donors skeptical, says the FairWertung association. Doubt is also appropriate if there is only a cell phone number on the notice with no address, or with an address that is far away. Several symbols are used, like a church, cross or globe, to bring churchly and social organizations to mind thereby evoking trust.
Use the internet to check whether the organization, which is apparently collecting for a good cause, actually exists. Each federal state has an electronic association registry that is freely accessible in part. The German Central Institute for social issues also provides information about associations.
When a laundry basket appears in front of your door
Also be careful when appeals for donations come from dubious sources! Consumers should not be beguiled into donating clothing to donation appeals that come from uncertain sources. The route that used clothing takes is uncertain when it comes to illegal collections.
Some organizations set up illegal collection containers and pretend to work with charitable organizations. This is how they deceive citizens who do good deeds and want to bring their used clothing in to be re-used. Serious collectors and recyclers on the other hand inform themselves of the actual purpose for the collection, providing their contact information and are available for inquiries.
Anyone can inform the public order office if there is suddenly a laundry basket or collection bin in front of their house or apartment. According to FairWertung, charitable organizations usually aren't the ones behind these actions.
Used clothing must be received in clean, dry and good condition
Textile cycles do not close on their own. In order for Striebel Textil to be able to close the textile cycle effectively and sustainably requires the attentive cooperation of consumers and clothing donors. There is one irrefutable rule-of-thumb for used clothing that is donated to used clothing collections: the used clothing must be clean, dry and in good condition.
Only in this way can it continue to be worn and be re-used. If the donated used clothing does not fulfill these criteria the donor should dispose of it in the garbage.
All clothing donations should be well packaged.
Legal used clothing collections are not difficult to recognize. Whether it is a used clothing container or drive: the collecting organization can always be recognized by the indicated contact partner with their complete address.
Legal collections welcome fashionable clothing and linens in good condition, shoes, handbags, stuffed animals, furs and duvets, as well as unsoiled household textiles in good condition (such as tablecloths, curtains, hand towels).
In addition to clothing for children and adults, blankets, bed sheets, hand towels or fabric in good condition also belong in clothing collections, as well as shoes preferably packed together in pairs. All ruined, heavily soiled items exhibiting holes or rags and fabric remains belong in the garbage. Everything should be packed well; shoes should be packed in pairs.
Anyone that throws a bag of used clothing into a container should ensure that it isn't already overfilled. If it is, the items can get wet and/or dirty, which would make the entire contents of the container worthless.
Up to 90 percent of used clothing is recycled
All types of used clothing that reach Striebel Textil's state-of-the-art sorting facility, through legal and reputable used clothing collections, are sorted and 90 percent of it is recycled.
During sorting, all old clothing undergoes strict checks from delivery to shipping of the second-hand goods; they also undergo a fine sorting process that includes a fully automated disinfection process in a disinfecting system, and they undergo a secondary sorting step according to the quality categories "E, 1, 2 and 3." Old clothes of the highest quality level "E" undergo a second re-sorting for sorted used clothes.
Qualified employees view, inspect and rate the collected goods closely with a good eye for quality. They sort according to 200 categories that range from "top fashion" to "environmentally friendly and reusable" into a total of 14 groups.
40 percent of the used clothing becomes raw material
40 percent of the used clothing delivered to Striebel Textil is no longer wearable, but still usable for the raw materials industry. They are processed as raw material for cleaning textiles that are used in the automobile and furniture industries, for instance. The items of clothing are sorted depending on the material and pressed into large balls.
These are then forwarded to various companies. The raw materials are used for instance as interior lining for cars, paint substrates, insulation, roofing felt and much more. The item of clothing appears in a new "dress".
Cleaning towels and cloths are produced that can be used in the entire processing industry, as well as in printing plants and the wood processing industry. Cleaning cloth recycled jersey is available in the "white, light color/color, very light or terry cloth" categories, cleaning cloth recycled calico is available in the "polishing linen white, polishing linen light color or calico color" categories.
Cleaning towels, cleaning cloths and polishing cloths for wet and dry cleaning are produced by Striebel Textil from recycled goods in accordance with industry standard DIN 61650. They are free of hooks, eyelets, buttons, ties, zippers and other hard parts. There are made from firm, dry and clean cotton or half-linen materials, cut in handy pieces (20 to 30 centimeters), packaged clean and delivered on Euro-pallets.
Only 10 percent of used clothing ends up in the garbage
Only 10 percent of the used clothing recycled by Striebel Textil ends up in waste incineration. Used clothing that cannot be worn any more is separated in the general sorting phase and is sent to waste disposal.
50 percent of used clothing is re-used as wearable clothing
A conveyor belt takes the textiles to be generally sorted. Trained staff sort out bulky items, like suitcases, shoes, quilts and carpets. Primarily cotton raw materials are sorted out, like cleaning cloths, jeans, knitwear and towels. The journey for items like backpacks, bags, belts, stuffed animals and scarves ends in the general sorting phase - these items are also separated. Used clothing that cannot be worn any more is separated and sent to waste disposal.
With good eyes for quality, our employees accurately view, inspect and evaluate the collected goods as part of the subsequent fine sorting of the collected items. The items are sorted according to 200 categories that range from "top fashion" to "environmentally friendly and reusable" into a total of 14 groups, such as coats, pants, jackets, dresses, skirts, outer garments, parkas, t-shirts and sweatshirts for sports, blouses, sweaters, shirts and children's clothing. Only clean and intact clothing gets a place in our assortment.
» Learn about the four quality categories of re-sorting
The best recycling goods return to inland wholesale and retail
After passing through a very extensive sorting and preparation process into 14 clothing groups - including the latest automatic disinfection standard, Striebel Textil's first-class second hand goods are put into four quality categories "E, 1, 2 and 3" in the company's own "Stilreich" shop or into national wholesale and retail.
New markets are created abroad with second hand clothing
After passing through a very extensive sorting and preparation process into 14 clothing groups - including the latest automatic disinfection standard, Striebel Textil's first-class second hand goods also go to national and international wholesale and retail in the four quality categories "E, 1, 2 and 3".
The items make their way to dealers and importers by truck, ship or train. From there it is directed back into retail, via alteration tailoring or upcycling companies, to the consumers great advantage. Second hand goods from Striebel Textil have a very high quality, they are affordable, current, fashionable and hygienically flawless.
New markets are created abroad with the re-sale of second hand clothing. This means jobs and a secure wage for people in the countries where the used clothing is sorted and sold. The wholesalers sell their goods to many small retailers. The retailers sell the clothing to the end customers at markets.