When we were kids we all used to wear our sibling’s old clothes. Yes, we all have done that and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. If it was okay to wear second-hand clothes at that time then why do we hesitate now? This is what India Recycles is telling us to do – reuse clothes or donate old clothes so that someone else can wear them!
Do you know approximately 92 million tonnes of fashion waste is produced every year in India? Clothes are very hard to recycle which leads to mountains of waste clothes that degrade our ecosystem. Tackling this serious problem that usually gets neglected by people, India Recycles started a campaign to promote Reuse and Recycle of products.
India Recycles encourages people to donate their pre-owned clothes, books, footwear or any other things that they don’t use anymore so that they can be used by someone else who cannot afford the price of the first-hand products. The aim of the organisation is to bring awareness in every community and class of society that it is normal to use second-hand things.
The organisation India Recycles is founded by Renu Pokharna and Pranav Gupta. Taking initiative for this great cause, the organisation collects second-hand clothes, books, footwear and many other things that are donated by people and sells them in the slum area.
Renu mentions, “People of poorer communities work long hour shifts without weekly off so they don’t have the time to travel to the city and buy something for themselves. And even if they want to go they have to spend money on travelling. That’s why we organise sales in these areas so everyone can come and do shopping.”
Ensuring that every person in the poor community can buy whatever they need, India Recycles organises sales in the markets nearby slums. The idea was to spread the joy of shopping in the poorer community and provide them with access to those things that they would never think of buying.
But you might think that if the idea is to give benefits to the poorer community then why are they selling clothes instead of just distributing them for free?
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Both the Founders, Renu and Pranav are clearly against the idea of distributing clothes and other products for free because the people of the poorer community may have lesser resources and wealth but they sure have dignity and choice. Therefore, to maintain the dignity of the poor people, India Recycles sells all their pre-owned items at a very minimal cost of Rs. 10, 20 and 50 depending on the quality. This way people are also free to choose according to their needs and preferences. The collected amount from the sale is used for the medical and educational assistance of underprivileged people.
ENSURING THE QUALITY OF THE DONATED ITEMS
It is not easy to sell pre-owned donated items. It takes a lot of hard work even before taking it to the market to sell. Since these products are going to be used by someone, it is very important to check the quality of the clothes and other items. To maintain the highest quality of the products, India Recycles follows these 3 steps:
- Sorting: The foremost thing is to sort the items and remove those items that cannot be used by anyone.
- Cleaning: The second step is to separate the items based on three categories; one that is worthy of going to the sale, the second that needs washing and the third ones that need dry cleaning. And then send them for cleaning and ironing.
- Segregating: After the sorting and cleaning are done, the items are then segregated into various categories for male, female, child and teenager. And finally, the items were labelled for price.
India Recycles started its collection drive in 2021 and it has been a huge hit. The organisation receives donations for almost everything like clothes, bags, shoes, kitchen items, cosmetics, furniture and many other things. India Recycles encourages people to donate more so they can reach poorer communities and spread joy among them also.