DJEDDAH: Every year, tons of clothing and textiles are thrown around the Kingdom in landfills and recycling bins – or recycled by charity groups.
Saudi charities have launched initiatives to help recycle these unwanted items, which also helps promote a more sustainable environment.
In 2018, the Saudi Kiswa Recycling Service began working with charities to help safely dispose of excess clothing, while promoting a spirit of community solidarity and cooperation to protect the environment and support other organizations. charities.
Kiswa has ties to an Islamic concept of wearing new clothes for Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha called Kiswat Al-Eid when everyone, rich or poor, dresses in new clothes.
The service also helps create new revenue opportunities for charities through partnerships with the public and private sectors to achieve Vision 2030 goals on supporting the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.
Kiswa CEO Salem Derbah said the project has helped reduce problems and costs for people and charities when collecting a change of clothes. The project also benefits from recyclable but damaged clothing.
Kiswa has a whole team dedicated to collecting, sorting, preparing and delivering clothes to associations. It also promotes the concept of volunteering among Saudi youth, so far carrying out 40 distribution initiatives, according to Derbah.
The project collects surplus clothing from people wishing to get rid of or donate their clothing and textiles via an application.
The donations are then sorted and classified. New and well-preserved items are distributed to beneficiaries, while damaged items are recycled for the benefit of the project.
Profits are donated to charities and support for initiatives related to the environment.
In Kiswa, excessive amounts of clothing and clothing are sorted and dismantled based on material, type and color, then converted back to fiber and made into a new product with minimal waste, Derbah said.
“We have contracted with over 27 certified social development associations from across the Kingdom, including the Tarahum Charitable Foundation, the Al-Oula Women’s Charitable Society and more,” he told Arab. News.
The Al-Oula association also contributed to this movement.
“Lately, we have been working with different designers, including local ones, to produce sustainable fashion, including collaborations with the biggest fashion designers in Saudi Arabia such as Nasiba Hafiz, Zakiya Attar, Hunaidah Serafi. The idea was to use the materials we have, to be sustainable and to come up with designs that sell where all the profits go to support the organization, ”said Al-Oula CEO Dania Al-Maeena, at Arab News.
Al-Oula has initiated projects for young women, children’s education and others for women in the fashion industry, such as facilitating opportunities to develop sewing skills.
“It was great and nice to work with designers and see how creative they can be with all the fabrics that we have, because they get the idea, and we have the ladies who are going to sew using the designs and the fabric we have, to be more sustainable, ”Al-Maeena said.
“I think this is a new thing that we need to think about and consider. It’s been great working with these Saudi initiatives to achieve our goal, especially with Kiswa who does all the recycling, upcycle (thing) and they have nice clothes. We are looking to do more with different designers, and we recently signed an agreement with Hasanat.
Hasanat, another Saudi fashion-related charity, links empowerment and creative charity work. It collects donated clothes, cleans, grades and irons all fabrics to provide an end-to-end platform for women to be independent and earn sustainable income while working from home.
The association also gives women the opportunity to collaborate, learn new skills and transform old clothes into new salable products with stylish designs that are as appealing as well-known brand products with a similar price range.
All Hasanat products are made from reused and recycled materials.
One of the creative and eco-friendly ideas that Hasanat offers is that it ensures that less fabric is wasted each year by taking all the leftover material and stitching them into warm blankets or quilts and handing them out. to families in need.