‘We turn waste into something golden’: the creatives transforming rags to riches

Rich nations’ unwanted clothes often end up in landfills, polluting the global south. But entrepreneurs in Ghana, Pakistan and Chile are turning rubbish into rugs, shoes and toys 

Every second, the equivalent of a lorry full of clothes ends up on a landfill site somewhere around the world. People are buying, and casting off, more clothes than ever. On average, each consumer buys 60% more clothing than 15 years ago and 92m tonnes of textile waste are created annually.

Production and consumption are on the rise, with severe environmental and social implications. Only 12% of the material used for clothing is recycled. A popular way to dispose of clothes is to give them to charity shops.

But many of these donations end up in countries in the global south, where there is big trade in second hand clothing.