Clothes. We all wear them. That's billions of items being worn every day, billions of items being made each year – and billions of items being thrown out.
The environmental impact is huge – in the UK alone, 300,000 tonnes of textile waste ends up being sent to landfill each year. And that is a small fraction of the worldwide figure. Less than one percent of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing at the end of its life.
In this episode of Trash Or Treasure, we meet all sorts of innovators, entrepreneurs, campaigners and businesses that have dedicated their lives to raising awareness, reusing or recycling clothes.
We travel to Italy to explore a very fashionable way to recycle our clothes. Could Prato represent a model for sustainable fashion? No, it's not a brand name: This small city in Tuscany has built its fortune on transforming old scraps into new clothes, particularly knitwear and wool – and it could show the way for fashion, one of the world's most polluting industries, to clean up its act.
We follow the clothes chain to Africa, where for decades Europe has sent its second-hand clothes – but if that's a solution, why are African countries considering banning imports of second-hand clothing?