What is ACT?

Africa Collect Textiles (ACT) is an initiative to collect used textiles and footwear for re-use and recycling.

Background

Worldwide, an estimated 60 billion kilo of textiles and footwear is lost (burned or landfilled) every year. Kenya is importing yearly more than 100 million kg’s of ‘Mitumba’, second hand clothes. These items mainly come from Europe, Canada and the US. It is great to re-use, but what happens after it is used in Kenya..? Well, at the end everything ends up at the overflowing dumping sites like Africa’s biggest landfill Dandorra or the items are burned in the open air.

Solution

We have to stop this linear way of treating our materials. It is time to create a global recycling loop for textiles and footwear. We are convinced recycling textile and footwear is beneficial and sustainable; economically, socially and environmentally.

We avoid unnecessary burning of valuable materials avoiding 1000’s kilo’s of CO2 and hazardous emissions polluting our air. With newly developed recycling techniques we are consequently creating new business opportunities and jobs. We transfer state of the art knowledge and skills from all over the world to roll out a sustainable textile recycling economy in Kenya.

Our mission

The current total amount of textiles discarded by the public and other parties (traders, tailors, etc) in urban Kenya is estimated at 35 million kg yearly (of which 20 million kg is in Nairobi. Within the next 10 years we aim to collect and recycle more than half of Kenya’s lost textiles.

Our objectives

  • To collect used textiles and footwear throughout the country through strategic partnerships
  • To find the optimum use for collected items by an efficient sorting process
  • To inspire the community on the importance of reusing and recycling of textiles and shoes and how it can contribute to the betterment of the environment and the economy
  • Create jobs in a new textile recycling economy
  • Generate funds for charity
  • To recycle the collected textiles and footwear into a variety of new products, like;
    • Shoes
    • Carpets
    • Blankets
    • Filling material (toys, pillows)
    • Sound proof and insulating panels / partition boards / ceilings
    • Rubber pavements and running tracks (from footwear)
    • New textiles and clothes

Sustainable Development Goals

With ACT we are supporting the following Sustainable Development Goals:

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