Extending the idea of sustainability to collection points

Sustera, an NGO, is collecting used clothes dumped at various collection points to convert them into bags

Published: 23rd August 2018 04:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd August 2018 04:32 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The city is receiving a remarkable response from the citizens towards the aid of flood victims. Though many materials including food, medicines and clothes are flooding the collection centre, there are a few who are taking this as a chance to dump their used clothes. Sensing this predicament, an NGO has come forward to help the volunteers in getting rid of these waste through their project called Cloth to Carry bag (C2C) campaign. 

Thiruvananthapuram-based Sustera, in association with Save a Rupee, Spread a Smile (SARSAS) organisation, has extended the campaign, wherein old clothes will be upcycled to carry bags, to the collection points as well. It is an alternative to plastic carry bags, besides aiming to reduce cloth wastage by ensuring sustainability.  “A few people are using the opportunity to dump their waste clothes. The NGO came as a big relief to us. We have collected around four sacks of used clothes in our camp. Already two have been collected by SARSAS volunteers,” said Sreedevan K Perumal, Pattom SCM camp volunteer.       
According to Jibin G Jose, project officer of Sustera,  the C2C initiative was started six months back. “We were facing a shortage of raw materials. So, the clothes collected from the relief camps is turning to be a useful material for us,” he adds. The organisation volunteers will visit various camps to collect the used clothes. “Volunteers from various camps are contacting us in this regard. We collect those and send it to the stitching centre where it is being made into bags,” said Sarath Jayachandran, SARSAS joint secretary.

However, not all clothes can be used for making cloth bags. The NGO volunteers sort the cloth pile, taking only the material that is useful for them.  Clothes that can’t be made into bags will be sent to other uses.  
 “No clothes will be dumped or burnt. Every piece of cloth will be upcycled as the NGO is working in the field of climate change and sustainability,” said Jibin. Around 30 rural women have been trained for the project. Currently,  there is only one stitching centre in the state which is at Muhamma in Alappuzha.
 A new centre will be opened soon at Neyyattinkara.

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