- Press Club |
Hong Kong-based environmental charity, Redress, launches their second annual October “Get Redressed Month” - a fun and engaging awareness campaign that aims to draw attention to the environmental impact of the way we make, buy and dispose of clothing. Highlighting the staggering chemical, land, carbon and water footprints of the fashion industry, the campaign also provides solutions for consumers to extend the life of their clothes by donating them for re-use, resale and recycling. In the space of just two years, Get Redressed Month has grown exponentially and this year’s city-wide clothing drive includes over 100 participating companies, schools and clubs across Hong Kong with 143 internal collection points and 38 public collection points for unwanted clothing, as well as a public advertising campaign across the MTR network, to encourage consumers to stop and think about the impact of their wardrobes.
Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, affecting everything from our land and water, to the air we breathe and the temperature of our planet. However the scale of the environmental impact and levels of textile waste are only now being pushed onto a mainstream agenda. Consumer behaviour is a critical part of the problem - we are buying 60% more clothes than we were just 15 years ago, wearing them less and less, and throwing them away at an astonishing rate. In fact, recent municipal waste statistics show that a whopping 370 tonnes of textiles are dumped in Hong Kong’s overflowing landfills every single day.
That is a mountain of textiles weighing around the same as one and a half Big Buddhas each day. This unsustainable cycle is creating a raft of critical environmental problems including climate change and water pollution. Redress’ Founder Christina Dean says, “As active fashion citizens, we need to break this cycle. We must know where our clothes come from, how to get the most out of them, and what to do with them if and when we no longer want them. Get Redressed Month is working to do just that - by raising awareness and inspiring positive behavioural changes in our clothing habits.”
Globally, only 20% of clothing is collected for re-use or recycling which is significantly lower than the recycling rates of other materials, such as plastic, yet we know that by extending the life of our clothes we can reduce the environmental footprint. For example, simply doubling the amount of time we wear our clothes for would reduce carbon emissions by 44%. Through the Get Redressed Month educational campaign materials and clothing drive, Redress is not only raising awareness about these critical issues and the power of the consumer to drive change, it is also providing direct solutions for Hong Kong consumers to give their unwanted clothes a second life. This drives progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goal #12, which promotes responsible production and consumption.
Generously sponsored by DBS Bank, KPMG, Swire Properties, PizzaExpress, Redbox Storage, Li & Fung and LKF Group, this year’s Get Redressed Month brings a diverse community of organisations, retail brands, students and consumers together across Hong Kong to address the environmental impact of the way we consume and dispose of our clothes. Redress is thrilled to be joined by such a wide variety of organisations that support our mission to raise awareness and find solutions for textile waste in Hong Kong, while benefiting people in need.
“The success of Get Redressed Month is testament to both the organisation’s incredibly passionate people and the meaningful work they’re doing which helps consumers better understand important issues around fashion and the environment. The Li & Fung Foundation is delighted to continue to provide our support,” says Lawrence Wong, Community Engagement Lead at the Li & Fung Foundation.
Dr Raymond Yau, General Manager, Technical Services & Sustainable Development, at Swire Properties comments, “We’re delighted to once again support Get Redressed Month, a very meaningful initiative that aligns closely with our sustainable development (SD) vision. This year we’re extending the campaign to our tenants with collection points in our office towers, as well as in our offices for our colleagues. We’re excited to get more people involved in our SD efforts, especially local stakeholders, so together, we can build vibrant and sustainable communities.”
Agata Smeets, Director, Sourcing Strategy, Gap International Sourcing, says, “We are pleased to be participating in Get Redressed Month and supporting Redress in their important mission to reduce textile waste through reuse, up-cycling, and recycling of used garments. We are proudly offering Redress’ clothing collection boxes in our Hong Kong stores and offices and we encourage all of our customers and staff to drop off gently used clothing during the campaign. Sustainability is a core value of Gap Inc. and we are glad to be partnering with Redress for the second year on this important initiative.”
Redress works as a unique and critical service provider to collect, sort, re-purpose, re-distribute and recycle unwanted clothing and has a proven track record in organising clothing drives focused on environmental, social and educational gain. Redress is working to develop a comprehensive textile waste infrastructure in Hong Kong, and with over 30 sorting categories to date, they are focused on keeping clothes out of landfills while supporting 20+ local charity partners (including Crossroads, ImpactHK, Friends of the Earth and Pathfinders) with good quality clothes that meet the specific needs of their beneficiaries. Every piece of donated clothing is carefully inspected by teams of volunteers during the sorting process to identify the best way to maximise its value and minimise environmental impact.
"Campaigns like Get Redressed Month is important for raising awareness of the impact of the fashion industry, and encouraging new habits amongst customers, ensuring that clothes are kept in use," states Francois Souchet, Make Fashion Circular Lead - Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Kate Falconer, Director of Operations at Crossroads, adds, "We love working with Redress. The clothes are always fantastic quality, and that makes a difference to the people we help. The fact that Redress collects the kinds of clothes that we particularly need in our redistribution projects is so helpful. Less is wasted, and we can give people what they really need instead of what someone is just trying to get rid of."
Following Get Redressed Month, Redress’ first ever 24-hour Sort-a-thon will take place from 22 to 23 November at Berkshire House in Taikoo Place, a space generously donated by Swire Properties for this unique event, where corporate teams will sort clothing in unison over a continuous period of 24 hours. The aim of the Sort-a-thon is to sort and redistribute all of the unwanted clothes donated during Get Redressed Month, which is expected to exceed 10 tonnes this year.
The general public can participate in Get Redressed Month by donating their clothes at public collection boxes in 38 locations across Hong Kong including Jeeves, PizzaExpress, Zara, Edgar, emmanuel f., Gap, Lush, One Lan Kwai Fung, Redbox Storage and the office portfolios at Citygate, Pacific Place and Cityplaza under the management of Swire Properties.