NUS environment group launches 'Green Wardrobe' initiative to collect old clothes

A 'green wardrobe' initiative led by a group of National University of Singapore (NUS) students was launched on Monday, in a bid to spur the recycling of clothes.

NUS Students Against Violation of the Earth (Save) aims to collect 1,500kg worth of clothes - shoes, undergarments, accessories and pillows are banned due to hygiene concerns - by May 2014. The two wardrobes will be based on campus, as well as be roving to community events in the South West District.

Proceeds will go towards beneficiaries of the South West CDC. The initiative costs $4,000 to run, and is supported by the South West-SMRT ECo Fund.

President of NUS Save Aloysius Foo, 23, said the focus of this year's Climate Action Days - the third organised by the group - is on consumerable products such as cosmetics and clothes was inspired by the haze in June. On June 21, the reading peaked at 401, in the "hazardous" range.

"There was the haze and people were saying it's all Indonesia's fault," said Mr Foo, a third-year history major. "But we were thinking that Singaporeans bear some responsibility as well because we purchase consumerable products containing palm oil which comes from unsustainable forestry practices."

Save advocates environmental issues and has successfully pushed for campus-wide plastic bag tax and mandatory double-sided printing across NUS.

Dr Amy Khor, Mayor of South West District, lauded the effort as one that "encourages the recycle of clothing, beyond the usual paper, plastic and metal." She added: "A clean and green environment cannot be forged alone. It requires collective input from the community."

Together with NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, Dr Khor planted a tembusu sapling to commemorate 50 years of Greening Singapore.

This marks the start of a week of activities promoting climate change, including the two-day "Shop @ S.A.V.E" at NUS' Central Forum, which features sustainable products, and a Plastic Waste Symposium on Saturday, where a panel of experts will convene to discuss the hazards of plastic waste.

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