ARAB NEWS: JEDDAH – Every year, tons of textiles and clothes are thrown away in the Kingdom’s landfills or recycled bins. These items can also be upcycled by charities.
Saudi charities have started initiatives to recycle these items. This promotes a more sustainable environment.
In 2018, Saudi Recycling Service Kiswa started working with charities to safely dispose of excess clothes. They also promote solidarity and community cooperation in order to support the environment.
Kiswa is connected to an Islamic concept that requires everyone to wear new clothes on Eid Al Fitr and Eid al-Adha. This Islamic concept is known as Kiswat El-Eid.
This service helps charities create new income opportunities through partnerships with the private and public sectors. It also supports Vision 2030 goals to support profit and non-profit sectors.
Salem Derbah, CEO of Kiswa, stated that the project reduced the effort and costs for charities and individuals when they were collecting spare clothes. This project also has the benefit of reusing damaged garments.
Kiswa has a whole team dedicated to sorting, preparing, and delivering clothing to associations. Derbah says that it encourages youth to volunteer and has completed 40 distribution projects so far.
Through an app, the project collects unwanted clothes from people who wish to donate or dispose of their clothes.
The donations are then sorted, categorized and sorted. The new and well-preserved items are then distributed to beneficiaries. Damaged items are recycled for project benefit.
All proceeds go to charities and support environment-related projects.
Excessive amounts of clothes and garments are separated at Kiswa according to type, color and material. Then, the fiber is converted back into fiber and transformed into a new product with minimal waste. Derbah said
Arab News that he had spoken with more 27 corporate social development associations throughout the Kingdom, such as Tarahum Charity Foundation, Al-Oula Women’s Charitable Society, and many others.
This movement has also been supported by Al-Oula, a non-profit organization.
“We have been working with local designers to create sustainable fashion, including collaborations with leading Saudi fashion designers like Nasiba Hafiz and Zakiya Attar,” said Al-Oula CEO Dana Al-Maeena. Al-Oula CEO Dania Al-Maeena explained to Arab News that the idea was to make sustainable designs using the materials we had. All the profits will be used to support the organization.
Al-Oula started projects for young women and children’s education.
Al-Maeena stated that it was a pleasure to work with designers.
“This is something that I think we should think about and consider. It was great to work with these Saudi initiatives in reaching our goal. Especially with Kiswa, who do the whole recycling, upcycling (thing ), and come up with some nice garments. We’re looking for more collaborations with other designers. Recently, we signed an agreement with Hasanat.”
Another fashion-related Saudi charity, Hasanat, connects potential and creative charity work. It takes in donated clothes and cleans, categorises and irons them to provide a platform for women to become independent while earning a sustainable income from home.
Women can also cooperate and learn new skills through the charity. They can also repurpose their old clothes into sellable products. The designs are just as appealing as those of well-known brands with similar prices.
All products of Hasanat are made with repurposed or recycled materials.
Hasanat’s creative and environmentally-friendly approach to fabric recycling is to take all the leftover fabric and make warm blankets or quilts, and distribute them to those in need.
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