A group of young people gathered in Tianjin to talk clothes this week, but with a twist. The entrepreneurs and activists shared different ideas at the 9th International Youth Summit on Climate Change on how to better deal with used clothing.
According to CGTN's Cui Hui'ao, every year in China over 2,000 tons of clothes are either landfilled or burned as waste. How to make the most out of discarded clothing is a pressing issue. Ma Yun, a young entrepreneur from Shanghai, started a clothing recycling company three years ago, and developed an organized second-hand clothes chain.
Ma Yun's recycling system sounds like a perfect, but not-so-lucrative solution to dealing with used clothes. However, Nitin Dani, an environmentalist from India, says recycling should be the last solution.
Less than 10 percent of the 42.5 billion tons of clothes produced in China in 2015 were recycled. Therefore, Dani and his organization are hoping to address what they consider the root cause of the "clothing problem" – people's mindset about consumption.
In addition to telling people to become environmentally-conscious buyers, it is important to provide them with alternative solutions other than recycling. On the production side, manufacturers should be more environmentally friendly. For individual consumers, buying less and buying only what you need is what it takes to make a difference.