Remade in Italy in The Sunday Times Magazine

It accounts to 10% of greenhouse emissions and nearly 20% of the world’s waste water—according to the EPA, 15.1 million tons of textile waste are generated each year in the US alone, while complexity and lack of sorting mean that only 1% of our clothing is ultimately recycled into new garments. Of this 1%, wool is the most recycled fabric—in Prato, Italy, this industry is a historical tradition. An old law prohibiting the importation of raw wool promoted the rise of a district where companies today sort and recycle over 15% of all the world’s textiles with a market value of 2.5 billion $.

An important and the most difficult part of what happens in Prato is the sorting of textile by colour and quality, where the hands and eyes of the workers are essential. Some warehouses are stacked with piles of clothes in colours out of fashion for more than 40 years, and stored waiting for changes in the market.