Textile Diversion & Recycling Symposium

We now consume 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year. This is a 400% increase in clothing production from 20 years ago, and it makes the apparel industry one of the top polluters in the world. Unwanted and discarded textiles are not just showing up in apparel but also our towels and bedsheets, our furniture and even stuffed toys.

Hosted by the Ontario Textile Diversion Collaborative (OTDC), this Symposium will delve into various textile diversion strategies, provide the opportunity to learn from global leaders who are making fashion circular,find meaningful ways to collaborate, and together change a system that is clearly broken.

The Symposium will also act as the official launch of the OTDC consumer awareness advertising campaign, which will be visible across Ontario. The thought provoking ads (courtesy of Public Inc) will focus on the importance of donating unwanted textiles so that they don’t end up in landfill or in recycling bins. The creative for this campaign is available to any Ontario municipality (at no charge) who is committed to textile diversion. So another great reason to join us for this important event!



8:00 – 8:30 — Registration, Continental Breakfast & Exhibits

8:30 – 8:40 —  Opening Remarks

8:40 – 8:50 — Acknowledgement of the Ontario Trillium Foundation  and an introduction to the importance of the topic, by Vincent Ke, MPP (Don Valley North)

8:50 – 9:35 —  Presentation: “Practices of Textile Recycling and Reuse in Multi-Family Residential Buildings: A Toronto Case Study”

  • Virginia Maclaren, University of Toronto
  • Emily Alfred, Toronto Environmental Alliance

9:35 – 9:45 —  Break

9:45 – 11:00 — Panel Discussion: “Diverting Textiles from the Waste Stream”

How are municipalities designing their textile collection services?  Learn about the challenges, opportunities and successes of textile-to-landfill bans, zero waste implementation and other best practices and strategies to divert textiles.  This panel will address issues such as: service levels, balancing costs with quality service, type of contracts, waste data flow records and quality end markets

  • Claudia Marsales, City of Markham
  • Karen Storry, Metro Vancouver
  • Daniela Siggia, Textile Waste Diversion

Moderator: Bob Kenney, Nova Scotia Ministry of the Environment

11:00 – 11:15 — Break

11:15 – 12:00 — Keynote: “Textiles Collections Procurement”, an example from the UK; Bettina Gilbert, Programme Manager, WRAP

12:00 – 12:45 — Lunch

12:45 –  1:15 —  Ontario Textile Diversion Collaborative: scaling the positive development and recognizing the opportunity of the 4 working groups:

  • Kelly Drennan, Fashion Takes Action
  • Sabine Weber, Sustainable Strategies & Solutions

1:15 – 1:35 — Consumer Awareness Campaign Presentation by Public Inc.

1:35 – 2:20 — Keynote: Carolina Bedoya, Resale Recycling Manager, Eileen Fisher, New York.

2:20 – 2:30 — Break

2:30 – 3:45 — Panel Discussion: “Making Textiles Circular”

Hear the many different and innovative ways textiles are being recycled and what potential exists for collaboration across sectors.

  • Dave Kasper, General Recycled
  • Amelia Eleiter, Debrand
  • Geof Kime, Circular Systems

Moderator: TBA

3:45 – 4:00 — Closing Remarks

4:00 – 6:00 — Networking Reception & Official launch of OTDC Consumer Awareness campaign. Municipalities and organizations will have the opportunity to sign up to receive (for free) the creative materials.