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September 11, 2023
Thousands of clothing items were sent to Maui to help residents who lost everything in the recent fires. Now, the abundance of clothes needs to be recycled.
Garbage bags full of clothes began to fill shops in the area as donations came pouring in, and one eco-conscious shop at Napili Marketplace, a hub for donations after the fires, noticed these bags were being put in dumpsters.
“I can’t even quantify the amount of clothes we received here,” said Megan Dalbac, Hoolawa Maui owner. “It was filling up our shop, our sidewalks, and alleyways, we even had to utilize two vacant spots in the plaza just for sorting and going through the stuff.”
Some clothing items that came in had stains, holes or were unusable, prompting the items to be thrown out. That’s when Dalbac and her friends at Keep It Simple on Oahu teamed up with Rosalie Snyder and the company For Days to ensure all clothing items could be recycled.
“A lot of people believe when we donate our clothes it goes to somebody in need, but actually 85 percent of textiles end up in the landfill,” Snyder explained.
“People have this innate desire to help and save their clothes, so it won’t go to waste,” said Hunter Long, co-owner of Keep it Simple. “And they just need that right avenue to do that and that’s what we’re trying to do with our event on Sept. 16, because a lot of people had the good intention to donate but they might have missed the window to do so and now they can make use of their clothing at the event or donate their items that wouldn’t be reusable like worn or tattered items and now it can be recycled properly.”
The September 16 event is World Cleanup Day, and folks are encouraged to visit Keep it Simple Kapolei to swap out unwanted clothes. The clothes left over from the event will be shipped to For Days where the materials will be recycled or reused.
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