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Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel and attire) is items worn on the body. Clothing is typically made of fabrics or textiles but over time has included garments made from animal skin or other thin sheets of materials put together. The wearing of clothing is mostly restricted to human beings and is a feature of all human societies. The amount and type of clothing worn depends on gender, body type, social, and geographic considerations.

Clothing serves many purposes: it can serve as protection from the elements, rough surfaces, rash-causing plants, insect bites, splinters, thorns and prickles by providing a barrier between the skin and the environment. Clothes can insulate against cold or hot conditions, and they can provide a hygienic barrier, keeping infectious and toxic materials away from the body. Clothing also provides protection from ultraviolet radiation.

Wearing clothes is also a social norm, and being deprived of clothing in front of others may be embarrassing. In most parts of the world, not wearing clothes in public so that genitals, breasts or buttocks are visible could be considered indecent exposure.

When the raw material – cloth – wa

When the raw material – cloth – was worth more than labor, it made sense to expend labor in saving it. In past times, mending was an art. A meticulous tailor or seamstress could mend rips with thread raveled from hems and seam edges so skillfully that the tear was practically invisible. Today clothing is considered a consumable item. Mass-manufactured clothing is less expensive than the labor required to repair it. Many people buy a new piece of clothing rather than spend time mending. The thrifty still replace zippers and buttons and sew up ripped hems.

Recycling

Used, unwearable clothing can be repurposed for quilts, quilts, rags, rugs, bandages, and many other household uses. Neutral colored or undyed cellulose fibers can be recycled into paper. In Western societies, used clothing is often thrown out or donated to charity (such as through a clothing bin). It is also sold to consignment shops, dress agencies, flea markets, and in online auctions. Used clothing is also often collected on an industrial scale to be sorted and shipped for re-use in poorer countries. Globally, used clothes are worth $4 billion[29] with the US as the leading exporter at $575 million.[30]

Synthetics, which come primarily from petrochemicals, are not renewable or biodegradable.[31]

Excess inventory of clothing is sometimes destroyed to preserve brand value.<

Synthetics, which come primarily from petrochemicals, are not renewable or biodegradable.[31]

Excess inventory of clothing is sometimes destroyed to preserve brand value.[32]

EU Member States import, in 2018 €166 billion of clothes; 51% come from outside the EU €84 billion.

EU member states exported €116 billion of clothes in 2018, including 77% to other EU member states.