Rags to Riches: The Tuscan town at the forefront of recycled fashion

Millions of tons of clothes that have been thrown away arrive in Prato in northern Italy from all across Europe. This town has always been famous for its production of high quality fabrics, but now it is renowned worldwide for transforming old clothes into new.

Eight tons of clothing arrive at a warehouse every day. The items are sorted according to quality. Reusable garments are sent to Eastern Europe and Africa to be sold in markets.

The clothing that can be recycled is sorted before being sent on to the next stage in the process. Only about 3 percent ends up in a landfill, creating carbon emissions which harm the environment.

The discarded clothing arrives at a factory down the road where it goes through drying to take away the humidity and later processed for carbonizing.

The recycled wool is then delivered to another factory, where looms produce thousands of different colored fabrics, with an export market of 3 billion euros.

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