Malaysia has a goal of reducing recyclable waste sent to landfills by more than 40% by 2025 and achieving carbon-neutral status by 2050.
As part of DRB-Hicom Berhad’s corporate responsibility programme to reduce its carbon footprint, in partnership with Kloth Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Kloth Malaysia). The conglomerate raised its sustainability game through the recycling of unwanted textiles and clothing. The aim was to help Malaysia achieve the targeted recycling rate as the climate change challenge grows more critical. The initiative in 2021 began with the adoption of three fabric recycling bins.
The three bins are strategically located at the entrance of Wisma DRB-HICOM, Shah Alam, the parking lot of Subang Parade Shopping Centre, Subang Jaya and at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Saujana Utama, Sungai Buloh. The proceeds raised from the collection of the textiles and clothing is given to SMK Saujana Utama to help the school fund their own recycling programmes.
Since the inception of the initiative, a total of 38,615kg of unwanted textiles have been collected. In real terms, it avoided 71,051kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) from being produced. Mother Earth must be smiling!
Inspired, in 2022, DRB-HICOM adopted two more fabric recycling bins for the convenience of the public around Masjid Al-Akram Datuk Keramat, Kuala Lumpur and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam.
What is clear is that collective action is needed to ensure the success of this campaign. With Only One Earth as the theme for World Environmental day.
“DRB-Hicom is happy to play our part for the planet by making it easier for the public to recycle their clothes.
Adopting the fabric recycling bins and purchasing upcycled textiles for our corporate gifts are our commitment towards environmental and social sustainability. This reduces recyclable waste from discarded in the landfills, reducing the greenhouse carbon emissions, and that will benefit our Mother Earth and community.
Mahmood Razak Bahman,
Head of Group Strategic Communications Division, DRB-HICOM
From waste to fashion!
After adopting fabric recycling bins, DRB-HICOM has also further supported the Kloth movement by acquiring 150 units of upcycled denim tote bags from LLCM to be given out as corporate gifts. The tote bags will be made out of 150 pairs of recycled jeans and 150 pairs of discarded baju kurung.
As one of the founding partners of Kloth Malaysia, LLCM supports the fabric recycling initiative by giving new life and purpose to recycled textiles and providing employment to the B40 community.
The Process of Repurposing Recycled Textiles into Denim Tote Bags
LLCM collects the recycled textiles from the Kloth fabric recycling bins adopted by DRB-HICOM.
The recycled textiles collected will be delivered to the Australian Textiles Manufacturing Malaysia (M) Sdn. Bhd. (ATMM), the only ISO-certified textile processing company in Malaysia that has a manufacturing license. The company, based in Port Klang then sorts the used textiles into over 500 different categories. The suitable fabric materials are identified and set aside for the production of the denim tote bags. ATMM also separates reusable handbag accessories from recycled handbags at the factory.
The suitable material is then cut by Upcycle4Better, based on the designs given by their sewers. This process not only makes it more efficient by giving the home sewers a more straightforward job but it also helps reduce textiles waste going to landfill, as ATMM processes the wastage at their ZERO waste factory.
The cut fabrics will be packed and sent to the Kloth Women Up & U4B seamstresses who are either home sewers or from the B40 income group. Once the items have been made they are then labelled and a Kloth x U4B pamphlet is inserted, to highlight the environmental and humanitarian benefits.
Once the items have been made and have gone through the various quality control checks, they are then sent for washing. For the denim tote bags, the whole bag is washed using eco-friendly, non-carcinogenic laundry detergent and softener, supplied by the ZERO WASTE EARTH STORE, located in ECO Ardence, Setia Alam.
Malaysians have thrown away clothing after wearing it just once
Every year, 7 out of 10 Malaysians confess to throwing
their clothes away
In Malaysia, it is estimated
that 2 tonnes of textiles are
thrown away every day