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Who Can Digest This?

Name: "Who can digest this?"

Size: 70x100 cm

Acrylic, Fabric on Wood.

I made this for Gaialux. Exhibition Tour in Luxembourg

The disposal of used clothes, often referred to as textile waste, contributes significantly to environmental issues globally. Here's how the process typically unfolds, leading to the creation of mountains of clothing waste in different countries:

  1. Donation and Collection:

  • Many individuals and organizations donate their used clothes to charity organizations or drop-off points.

  • Some countries have well-established systems for collecting and sorting donated clothes, while others may lack organized infrastructure.

  1. Sorting and Distribution:

  • Donated clothes are sorted based on quality, style, and seasonality.

  • Wearable items may be sold in thrift stores locally, exported to other countries, or repurposed for various purposes.

  • Unwearable or unsellable items may be sent for recycling or disposed of as waste.

  1. Export to Developing Countries:

  • A significant portion of donated clothes from developed countries is exported to developing nations, particularly in Africa and Asia.

  • These clothes are often sold in local markets or distributed to communities in need.

  1. Market Saturation and Surplus:

  • Over time, the influx of donated clothes, combined with locally produced garments, can lead to market saturation in developing countries.

  • Surplus clothing that cannot be sold or utilized accumulates in warehouses or landfills.

  1. Impact on Local Industries:

  • The influx of cheap imported clothing can undermine local textile and garment industries in developing countries.

  • Traditional clothing practices and craftsmanship may decline as a result.

  1. Waste Management Challenges:

  • Many developing countries lack adequate waste management infrastructure to handle the influx of textile waste.

  • As a result, dumped or improperly disposed of clothing contributes to environmental pollution, including soil and water contamination.

  1. Environmental Consequences:

  • Textile waste does not readily decompose in landfills, leading to long-term environmental degradation.

  • Burning textile waste releases harmful pollutants into the air, contributing to air pollution and health issues.

Efforts to address this issue include promoting sustainable fashion practices, encouraging recycling and upcycling initiatives, supporting local textile industries, implementing effective waste management systems, and educating consumers about responsible consumption habits. Additionally, policies and regulations can play a crucial role in mitigating the negative impacts of textile waste on both local and global scales.


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