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Storage of second hand clothing at risk as COVID-19 batters collection systems


It may become harder to find second-hand clothing in future as COVID-19 has put many clothing and textile bank collection systems at risk. In May ,the UK’s Textile Recycling Association said the average price of clothing left in textile banks fell from £130 a ton in March to £30 in April. The International Bureau of Recycling warned that the textile salvaging industry has entered a critical stage which threatens the existence of many collection, sorting and recycling operations.

Closure of retail outlets around the world has led to a glut of raw materials and finished products. This has pushed the price of raw materials so low that it’s often not economically viable for textile recyclers to collect them. In future, this could reduce the supply of second-hand clothing further down the line.

A May report by UK’s Textile Recycling Association revealed the average price of materials left in textile banks had plunged from £130 a ton in March to £30 in April, with further declines expected. Even in the more positive scenarios, it would take 18 to 24 months until the current stocks have been reduced to normal levels and business is normalized.