Textile waste is one of the fastest-growing waste streams globally. Approximately 83.5 million tonnes of waste is produced annually around the world. This waste diversion/upcycling project aims to prevent close to 2 tonnes of textile materials from going into Gabriola’s landfill each month.
The Gabriola Island Recycling Organization (GIRO) is building a textile recovery and manufacturing facility to create new products from old clothing and other textiles.
The facility will function as a social enterprise: offering local entrepreneurs access to workshop and maker spaces; textile shredding, sewing and weaving machines; and business development supports including mentorship and peer learning.
This circular economy initiative will provide a steady supply of materials ready for transformation into functional and creative upcycled products. Community members will be able to drop off textiles no longer in use.
Textile recovery and re-use represents an innovative way to diversify the local economy and support small scale entrepreneurs in rural and remote communities.