Education about textile waste planned in Tangletown

The Tangletown Neighborhood Association aims to reinforce the importance of reducing consumption and reusing products at upcoming events focused on textiles.

After a March event was canceled because of COVID-19, the Tangletown Neighborhood Association (TNA) has reshaped its plans for raising awareness about textile waste, with two virtual events now in the works.

On Oct. 22, the association’s environmental committee will hold a virtual screening of the documentary “The True Cost,” which focuses on how fast fashion has impacted developing countries.

On Nov. 21, it has plans for a virtual panel about shopping at consignment stores and responsibly donating unwanted clothing and other textiles.

The committee is also working on a textile-education fair for the spring or summer, though plans are still in development.

The Tangletown environmental committee is focused on textiles — which include everything from blue jeans to curtains — because Hennepin County has discontinued its textile recycling program. (The county could not find a vendor that would guarantee that textile waste would actually be recycled.)

Committee members and advocates for reducing textile waste have noted the large amounts of water required to produce textiles and also have concerns about the environ- mental effects of dyes used in textiles.

Other activists have noted how the fibers from synthetic clothing leach into wastewater when washed and eventually make their way into the oceans.

Tangletown committee co-chair Andrea Siegel said volunteers are hoping to get people to change shopping habits and think about buying used clothes and/or sturdier clothes that will last longer.

She said donating clothing is a good thing but it’s better to limit purchases in the first place, if possible.

The neighborhood association is conducting the event series with the help of a $10,000 grant from Hennepin County’s environment and energy department.

Executive director Sally Bauer said the goal is to draw at least 200 people to the three events, though she thinks more than 200 will attend the fair in the spring alone.

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