Environmentalists and Textile Artist Team Up to Offer Way of Dealing with Textile Waste by Creating Something Beautiful

Environmentalists and Textile Artist Team Up to Offer Way of Dealing with Textile Waste by Creating Something Beautiful

February 7 (BTA) - Environmentalists
and a textile artist have teamed up for a project aiming show
how the problem with the mountains of textile waste can be
addressed by creating something beautiful. They use discarded
old jeans, t-shirts, knitwear and other textile waste to weave
one-of-a-kind rugs and wall art.

They have already produced 17 colourful rugs.

The project uses mostly cotton, flax and wool textiles. Two
containers have been up - one in Sofia and one in the Black Sea
city of Varna, to collect those. "That is all material that
would have otherwise ended up in the city dump," says the
Pernik-based Gergana Kodjebasheva - Kantardjieva, who is among
the founders of the project.

Every third Saturday of the month they empty the containers. The
 collected textiles are sorted, disinfected, and separated into
categories. The soiled pieces are discarded and those with minor
 flaws are mended for re-use. The rest is cut into strips to be
woven. The strips are batched by colour and content.

It takes between 2.5 kg to 10 kg textile waste to make a 90x150
cm rug.

The project collected 17,160 kg of material until November 2021.

The design of the rugs and wall art is created by textile artist
 Maria Ganeva. She earned her bachelor's degree in textile art
at the Sofia Academy of Fine Art and went on to study in China.
She says weaving, which is a traditional Bulgarian technique,
makes great contemporary art.

The project gives her a chance to experiment with unconventional
 materials - which is what textile waste is for her - and
upcycle it. She says the environmental aspect of the project and
 knowing that one is doing something for the planet, gives her a
 sense of fulfilment.

It is a demonstration project and is aims to show that as much
as 95 per cent of the textile waste can be upcycled.
Kodjebasheva calls it "the circular economy in action".

It can reduce the amount of waste that is collected and
deposited by the garbage trucks, creates a new niche on the
market and new jobs.

Kodjebasheva believes that the project also has a great social
potential because it can potentially involve people from social
care homes in all stages of the operation and give them a source
 of income. The project team are holding talks with local
government officials in Pernik and Varna for that.

Bulgaria generates some 166,000 t of textile waste every year
and another 10,000 t come from the textile companies. A large
part of that is incinerated after being added to refuse-derived
fuel. The cleaner stuff is turned into textile padding or
industrial textiles.

All EU member states are required to have divided textile waste
collection after January 1, 2025.

BTA's Pernik correspondent Elka Robeva contributed to this
story. LN/

Source: Pernik, western Bulgaria