Clothes a daily need, an accessory, a luxury. Well, a cloth is anything depending on their price, use and design. But have you ever thought what happens to those lavish, branded and expensive pieces of clothing when you discard them.

Well, supposedly, this might be the question which would have been given the least thought ever in daily life. We buy clothes online, offline, from shops, from malls, from brand outlets. We buy them regularly for daily needs and occasionally for festivals and celebrations or most importantly to follow the fashion and trend. But has anyone thought, where do they go after they are of no use to you?

Well, the clothes which were at a time part of your celebration, which you bought from a brand’s outlet, end up becoming someone else’s headache in a garbage dump. The dump is as huge as the National Capital Delhi. 

We are talking about Panipat, a city from north India, a place where your’s, mine and everyone else’s clothes end up, we have discarded them from our wardrobe. The place is severely affected by the problem of landfills being filled up with discarded clothes. However, in past years, the place is being filled up with so much of discarded clothes, that the landfills are falling short.

It is being claimed by a joint report of Assocham and accounting firm PwC that, if the process continues, then we might need a landfill as big as Delhi, to fill those clothes in. 

This is happening because India not only has to deal with its cloth waste, but it is also a dumping ground for clothes discarded by the population of countries like UK & USA and other European countries like Italy, France etc.

“Unravel” a documentary film made in this regard, directed by Meghna Gupta, a short film which shows us the story behind the scenes of how our clothes end up in large piles of discarded materials and the post wardrobe journey of every cloth. The city of Panipat is home to several factories where tons of cloth garbage come to get re-converted into threads and fabrics. Panipat is the main subject of the documentary.

The documentary indeed fits its name and unravels the story of thousands of poor workers and labourers. First, these clothes come by way of cargo loaded on ships which come from foreign nations. These cargos are unloaded in Kutch, Gujrat. The clothes are primarily torn by cutting them with knives, scissors and machines so that they can’t be reused by anyone. Then they are sorted and bundled. These bundles are then sent to factories in Panipat.

In one of the scenes from documentary, women working in the Kutch based factories are seen saying that the western people discard clothes because they do not have enough water to wash their clothes. Many times, these clothes are the ones which are in very good condition. They say that many times it feels that clothes are worn only once and discarded.

“Everyone here says that the clothes come over because there’s a water shortage in the West… Maybe the water is too expensive to wash it. Foreign living People can buy clothes at the cost of washing them with water. So they prefer buying new ones.” says a woman in a scene in the documentary.

Here is the link to the video:

This is a serious issue as the land is falling short to fill the lots and lots of imported discarded clothes. We need to understand the need to use clothes optimally. Instead of throwing away our clothes after we are done with them, we should donate these clothes to people who are in need and can’t afford them.

The nation is filled with homeless and underprivileged people. It is hard for such people to afford good clothing. We should donate our clothes for them. They live in slums and some homeless people even live on the streets. Donate the clothes for a cause and save these people from the cruelty of weather like winters and rains. 

Hopefully, this way, we will be able to reduce the problem of discarded clothing piles and save the land for better usage as well as help some people in need.