GreenSquare: Weaving a Textile Revolution, Stitch by Sustainable Stitch
In this era of fast fashion and fleeting trends, one concerned mother’s unease with her family’s textile waste sparked a question: Why isn’t there a textile recycling service in Singapore? This marked the genesis of GreenSquare, a company that has been weaving a new narrative in the fabric of Singapore’s recycling culture.
As the second-largest polluter of clean water as reported by the World Economic Forum, the garment industry casts a long shadow on our environment. In most of the countries where garments are produced, untreated toxic wastewaters from textile factories are sometimes dumped directly into the rivers. Such wastewater may contain toxic substances such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, among others.
When GreenSquare began its mission to promote textile recycling, it set itself an ambitious targets to help increase Singapore’s textile recycling rate.
Founder Lyn Lim said: “I started researching recycling culture and channels in other countries, and there are many companies recycling textiles. We are relatively ‘behind’ in Singapore so I decided to start GreenSquare to provide everyone with the convenience of recycling unwanted textiles at their doorstep.”
With the help of SG Eco Fund, GreenSquare is able to work with partners like Frasers Property Singapore to set up designated bins to collect unwanted textiles at locations across Singapore. It is a win-win situation, giving Greensquare a way to expand its outreach to the public, and helps commercial entities like Frasers Property continue its own push towards sustainability.
Thanks to these collaborations, Greensquare was able to ramp up its textiles collection processes. From a modest 20 tonnes collected in 2016, it amassed over 100 tonnes in 2022.
GreenSquare also tapped on the SG Eco Fund to reach out to the young about sustainability. It recently launched an educational initiative in schools, nurturing the roots of the 3Rs — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — in young minds. GreenSquare believes that this investment in the future will yield a generation that views recycling as a way of life.
GreenSquare is not merely transforming textiles; it’s changing mindsets and weaving a sustainable future, one thread at a time. So, the next time you’re about to discard an old shirt or a pair of shoes, consider donating it instead, and letting each thread, button and zipper embark on a new journey instead of ending up as waste!
Inspired by Greensquare’s story to come up with your own green community initiative? The SG Eco Fund offers funding to support the co-creation of sustainability initiatives in Singapore, so you can grow your green ideas. Visit www.mse.gov.sg/sgecofund for more information!