What sodding crisis?

We are five to 10 years behind’: long road ahead for solving Australia’s textile waste crisis
Australia has the second highest rate of textile consumption per capita globally, but measures to address the issue are still in their infancy

Burn the stuff. Oz knows how to do that, the Abos had fire 40,000 years ago…..

22 thoughts on “What sodding crisis?”

  1. I wondered what ‘textile waste’ was, and according to the article it’s the new term for ‘old clothes’.

    Haven’t they heard of Oxfam or charity shops in Oz..?

  2. Do you ever read one of these articles quoting statistics & ask yourself why?
    “Australia has the second highest rate of textile consumption per capita globally,”
    Why? It’s not as if Australia has extremes of climate like some other parts of the world. Where you can have high summer temperatures but well below zero in the winter. Where you need kit for both extremes plus the intermediate periods.
    ” 23kg of clothing the average Australian dumps in landfill each year ” No. That’s a lie. It’s the amount of clothing textiles in landfill averaged out over the total number of Australians. The average Australian will be no different from the average Brit or average Yank. Not all Australians are fashion concious young men & particularly, fashion concious young women. The average Australian will have a wardrobe of clothes they wear day in day out, year in year out. Some of which gets replaced. The average Australian won’t send for landfill anything like 23kg of textiles per annum. So the implication is that there’s some Aussies throwing away maybe 100kg of clothes a year. That’s 4 travel cases full. Really? Other uses for textiles? Australians buy several changes of bed linen & towels annually? They have tablecloth fetishes?
    I suspect these numbers are actually an artefact of the way they’re collecting the stats for Aus or just downright lying.

  3. One thing I loved about Australia was the name of the section in department stores devoted to bedding and so on: “Manchester”.

  4. Yes BiS. I’m an Aussie and I can’t remember the last time I chucked some rags in the bin. Though some of the stuff is getting a bit shabby.

    Maybe the Guardianistas feel that all the rest of us are like them.

    Though when I finally forced my way through the article, I saw that the turds had got some of MY taxes to start pushing this nonsense.

  5. “Haven’t they heard of Oxfam or charity shops in Oz..?”
    That doesn’t necessarily follow, Julia. Although Spain hasn’t. There’s hardly any charity shops here.* But it is a way you can manipulate the stats. Clothes sent to charity shops – That’ll be an estimate. No charity shop weighs the input – gets counted as disposed of clothes. Far less than half of donated clothes end up for sale in the shops. It’s not suitable for resale. What isn’t is bundled & sold by weight. So there’s another stat can added. The bundles are sorted by the purcheser. Some’s exported to the 3rd world as garments. Some goes into industry as material input. Paper industry used to use a lot. Don’t know about that now. Bottom fell out of paper recycling in the 80s. From being paid £40/ton for it to having to pay to get rid of it. We just don’t use much paper these days. But that stat can be added on. What isn’t used as recycling ends up as landfill. Another figure to be added on. Things can be double & triple counted if you want the right results.

    *The different way we dispose of household waste. No home collection. You take your garbage to a street disposal site near you. Recyclable stuff gets put down there & when you’re disposing of your own waste, if you see anything you fancy, you take it home with you. So a fair proportion of what gets chucked out gets unchucked.

  6. There’s another use for the word “Manchester”, dearieme. Manchester gloves. What my grandfather used to say about having your hands in your pockets. As in ” He just stands around with his Manchester gloves on” Don’t think he had a favourable opinion of the North.

  7. Now I think of it Julia, there is a charity shop near me. Lifeline maybe? I gave them my mum’s old dressing gown after she died.

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    “I suspect these numbers are actually an artefact of the way they’re collecting the stats for Aus or just downright lying.”

    A bit like food waste including chicken carcases and the like to up the number.

  9. “…a fair proportion of what gets chucked out gets unchucked.”

    My dad, bless him, regularly embarrassed my mum by looking in roadside skips to see if there was any useful wood he could retrieve (he had been an apprentice carpenter and much of the furniture and shelving in our house was at least partly built from wood he had liberated from skips).

  10. @BiND
    Or the numbers died of Covid?

    Whenever I’m told anything, the first thing I ask myself is “Why am I being told this?”
    I recommend this approach to anything you’re told by government or politicians & particularly campaign groups or “experts”. The why, if you can work it out, may give you an idea of the reliability of the information.

  11. OT, Murphy and Hines seem to have blagged £50k of funding pa for three years from The Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation “because they believe that the climate crisis is so significant that there is no time to waste in tackling it”.


  12. @Bravefart – had a quick look at the Polden-Puckham website and Spud is by no means the most pernicious waste of space it’s funded.

  13. @BiND

    Its worse than that

    The food waste nazis include all wastage in the supply chain, all spoilage and stuff that is unsold

    They deliberatley overestimate the problem by a couple of orders of magnitude

  14. BiND has it – it seems to be exactly the same trick played as with the food waste numbers.

    The claim comes from https://www.awe.gov.au/environment/protection/waste/product-stewardship/textile-waste-roundtable which says;

    “Australia is the second highest consumer of textiles per person in the world, after the United States of America. Each Australian consumes an average of 27 kilograms of new clothing per year and disposes an average 23 kilograms of clothing to landfill each year, or 93 per cent of the textile waste we generate.”

    Second highest behind the US? Really?

    https://fiberjournal.com/textiles-2025/ says “A detailed look into 25 selected countries shows historic market size and per capita consumption between 2005 and 2018, plus a projection for 2025 as exemplified for the United States. The U.S. market size is anticipated to grow from 12.9 million tonnes to 14.6 million tonnes by 2025, equal to a per capita consumption exceeding 42 kg.”

    Once secondhand use is adjusted for, that 42Kg number drops to 37Kg-ish.

    So “the gap between supply and demand volumes primarily arises from waste along the value chain for different processing technologies at various degrees. Cut, make and trim operations further add to waste volumes depending on the specific piece of garment. Finally, destruction of unsold clothing items and discarding of damaged articles from online returns scale up waste volumes.”

    The underlying data is basically tonnage of yarns and cloth – not finished clothing items, as 23Kg of clothing is basically 3 or 4 washing machine loads, which is clearly utter bollocks – so I’m wondering if there are specific uses for textiles in Oz, say in mining or agri, that matches the same sectors in the US, driving the numbers up.

  15. I’ve never been to OZ, but I’d say wearing the same T-shirt, trousers, socks (and probably pants) for a couple of months stretch (untainted by washing said items) would not have struck me as abnormal from my encounters with blokes from there.

    For OZ females, I’d guess you could add an additional month or two.

  16. One easy to spot flow that’s not filtered out here: Cotton/spill wadding. Which is mostly recycled clothes and regularly gets counted double, or even triple..
    Sale of the item, often secondhand sale, then sale from recycling as cotton wadding, then quite often extra as Combustible Polluted Waste.. Good way to inflate the numbers while “forgetting” the same thing may well have had two or three lives..

    Also tossing household and industrial amounts together and pretending it’s entirely household use.. That’s Elyan Reckoning…

    What did they warn for in Ghostbusters? “Don’t Cross the Streams!!” ..

  17. @Ducky McDuckface quotes “Each Australian consumes an average of 27 kilograms of new clothing per year and disposes an average 23 kilograms of clothing to landfill each year”.

    Quite clearly not. Life expectancy in Australia is roughly 85, so if that were true then when each Australian dies they leave behind a wardrobe of 340 kg of clothes. In reality, the amount disposed of must be very close to the amount acquired. Unless there’s some trickery whereby the missing 4kg is not counted because it goes somewhere else first, or gets exported as used clothing.

  18. Question:
    Is agricultural fleece being counted as a textile?
    You know that stuff laid out on fields for tender crops & weighted down at the edges.
    Might be lightweight per M2 but a field of the stuff landing on you is a different proposition.

  19. Charles – hunting around the links, it seems that higher income countries tend to export second hand clothing to lower income countries. This is known, is attempted to be accounted for, and there seem to be exceptions.

    There’s also the generic problem with averages – 22 year old Sheila in Sydney might easily behave very differently from 42 year old Bruce in Brisbane. Sheila might behave differently when she’s 38.

    We also don’t know the weight of clothing that yer average Ocker actually holds, or the length of time. So, at death, that accumulated store might easily be 340Kg. Or may be not. Don’t know.

    Nessie – looks as if it is. ‘Cos it’s tonnage of textiles, with the switch being made as textiles == clothing. It’s probably (along with other textile uses) why Oz (pop. 26m) is apparently the second highest consumer behind the US (pop. 330m). 12x the population. Bonkers, otherwise.

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