Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Few People Want to Throw Away Old Clothes

Why are so many people unwilling to throw away old clothes and textiles? This question is the focus of the study Textilt återbruk – om materiellt och kulturellt slitage, recently published in book form.

The book describes different people’s relation to clothes and textiles – how they are consumed and then sorted out to be recycled in different ways. Today many people choose to get rid of textiles simply because they are tired of them and not because they are worn out.

Not long ago, worn-out clothes and textiles were considered recyclable material. Today they are more likely to end up at flea markets. However, some clothes seem to be harder to let go of.

‘The people who participated in the study said they tend to hold on to handmade textiles, their children’s first clothes and clothes and accessories typical for a certain era,’ says Anneli Palmsköld at the Department of Conservation, University of Gothenburg.

The study sheds light on different sorting processes, for example what people do when they dig through their wardrobes or visit a flea market. The evolution of recycling since the mid-1900s is also addressed, including modern innovations.

‘A common method is to sort clothes into three piles – one for stuff that needs to be mended, one for the donation drop box and one for the waste bin. Many people said that they sort out clothes that they haven’t used for some time,’ says Palmsköld.

Only 10 per cent of all clothes and textiles that end up at flea markets are re-sold, however. The rest go elsewhere, for example to homeless support. This was the case at the flea market, where the study was carried out.

‘The results of the study are largely related to ethics, or to people’s anguish over getting rid of perfectly functional clothes and textiles that they don’t want to use because they have gone out of style,’ says Palmsköld.

As part of the study, the author sorted textiles at a flea market, sent out a questionnaire in cooperation with the Nordiska museet museum, studied patched and mended textiles at the Halland Art Museum, and participated as a researcher in a school project concerning innovative ways to recycle textiles.

Anneli Palmsköld has a PhD in ethnology and works as a senior lecturer in conservation specialising in crafts at the Department of Conservation, University of Gothenburg.
Tel.: +46 (0)31 786 47 09, +46 (0)708 62 88 05.

Torsten Arpi | idw
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>