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Give old clothes to charity

Your mairie can advise on which schemes operate in your area and have designated collection points

IF YOU have old clothes filling up your wardrobe think about passing them on to a charity or private firm for reuse or recycling.

Your mairie can advise on which ones operate in your area and have designated collection points.

The main charities involved are Emmaüs, La Croix-Rouge, Le Secours Catholique, Secours Populaire and the Association des Paralysés de France.

They redistribute good quality clothing to needy people, sell it in charity shops or braderies (flea markets) or sell to fripiers (second-hand clothes dealers). A proportion is also sent to developing countries.

Private firms sell on to fripiers and exporters.

One of the best-known ones is Ecotextile, which works in partnership with World Wildlife Fund and the Association des Paralysés de France.

Poor quality items may be converted into industrial cloths, made into insulation or used as rags in garages, while about 10% of donations are unusable and go into landfill or are incinerated.

Emmaüs say all sorts of clothing types, including woolens, are useful as well as curtains, sheets or napkins, even if they are worn and have holes.

Clean, folded (but not necessarily ironed) items are best.

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