The head of the association emphasized that the clothing and textile industry in Latvia is very exportable and has great development potential, but the inflow of textiles into Latvia exceeds the official statistical data.
Imports of second-hand and ready-to-wear clothing have tripled in the last ten years,
but every inhabitant of Latvia buys almost 15 kilograms of clothes a year.
“As the campaign” There is nothing to pull? “Reminds us, at such a pace in 10-15 years we will drown ourselves in textile waste, which, paradoxically, is not really ours at all,” Strazds said.
He pointed out that, unlike the population, textile waste is not actually generated in the operations of Latvian manufacturing companies.
Local producers export 90% of the clothing produced here, including linen, so almost nothing of the finished product is recycled.
or “second hand” and recycling. Most companies that produce fabrics or blankets also recycle the waste from the production process into recyclable fibers themselves.
According to the data of the Latvian Association of Light Industry Companies, all Latvian companies generate a total of 1,500-2,000 tons of unprocessed textile waste per year, which is incinerated. Relatively more textile waste is generated by the largest lingerie manufacturers, but for them, too, the design and cutting of clothes has become so automated nowadays that fabric waste is actually small strips that can only be burned. No company can accept less than 2,000 tons for processing, but it is not worth buying larger equipment if there is nothing to recycle. So it can be said with some certainty that Latvian clothing manufacturers do not generate textile waste, Strazds explained.
He emphasized that the real problem of Latvia’s textile waste is the problem of imports, as Latvia exports 5,000-6,000 tons of clothing a year, but imports about 27,000 tons.
“Most of the ready – made clothes come from China, and we all know that perfectly
the quality of Chinese products is not always the highest. This in turn means that they are actually things for one season.
Every year, more than 1,000 tons of tights are imported to Latvia, which can only be burned after wear and tear. Also, bras are practically non-recyclable, they contain plastic and metal elements, lace, fastening hooks. They should be broken down before processing, but no one will undertake to do so. Even seemingly harmless garments like T-shirts are sold with patches, prints or even stickers. They are also very difficult to recycle, as anything other than textile fibers interferes with recycling.
About 30% of all ready-made garments imported to Latvia are simply not recyclable, “
The head of the association said that the used clothes are an even bigger problem – every year most of the clothes imported to Latvia or 16,000 tons are imported “second hand”, about half – from England. If in the past the so-called “second hand” was mostly intended for humanitarian purposes, now it has become a business – a third or even half of the used clothes are sent to developing countries. Basically