SDSS asks for community support in ‘I Give a Shirt’ campaign

The Sustainability Club at Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) is running the ‘I GIVE A SH!RT’ campaign for Waste Reduction Week, Oct. 15 – 19th. This is an opportunity to raise awareness about clothing consumption and the impact of discarding it – all while raising funds for environmental initiatives at SDSS.

The Recycling Council of Ontario and Value Village® have partnered to bring high school students in Ontario and British Columbia an exciting opportunity to organize a clothing collection drive for used clothes for re-use and re-wear during Waste Reduction Week.  In addition, participating schools are eligible to win prizes of up to $2,500 based on their collection, community engagement, and social media efforts in the 2018 #IGiveAShirt Challenge.

“There is a strong history of environmental initiatives at SDSS,” says Geography and Cooperative Education teacher, Nancy Darlington-Smith, “and we have exciting plans for the 2018/19 school year, so we hope to be a strong contestant in being awarded a financial prize by collecting the greatest weight in textiles.”

“We are hoping the community gets on board with us,” says Darlington-Smith. “We will have boxes at the School’s front doors beginning early next week and appreciate any support the community can bring in the way of donations.”

Accessories, Clothing and Other Textiles

  • Hats, mittens, scarves
  • Ties, socks
  • Purses, wallets, backpacks and bags
  • Men’s, Women’s and Children’s cothing
  • Bedding, pillows, Bath towels, Curtains, tablecloths, etc.

Several local families have The Diabetes Foundation pick up their items on a regular basis. The foundation is involved as they will transport our collection to the nearest Value Village site where it will be sorted for re-use and re-wear.

Other opportunities:

  • The school’s SWAP Shop will be able to collect items that can accessed by our student body.
  • The Gr. 9 Family Studies class will select some t-shirts to create “t-shirt totes” – strong and washable alternatives to plastic bags for carrying lots of things! (Plastic bags are typically used for less than 30 minutes and only 1% are recycled.)

Interesting facts of how clothing and fashion impacts the world:

  • The average North American has 4 x as many clothes as they did in the 1980s.
  • North Americans send over 10.5 million tonnes of clothes to the landfill every year – 95% of which could be re-worn or repurposed.
  • On average, 81 pounds of textiles are thrown away every year. Landfills shouldn’t be laundry piles.
  • It takes over 700 gallons of water to make 1 new t-shirt. Now that’s a wardrobe malfunction. Every time one of those t-shirts goes to waste, so do the 700 gallons of water that went into creating it. That’s a lose-lose situation for your closet and the environment.
  • The majority of used clothing and other textile materials collected and not re-used or re-purposed in North America are sent offshore, oftentimes with limited information provided on management at their final disposition.

More information can be found at: