ETIA Travel Report: Textile Recycling Potential in Tanzania

Every year the TU Wien Academy funds MSc ETIA students undertaking trips abroad to conduct research for Master´s Thesis via the “ETIA Travel Allowance“.

Street vendor

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Dr. Said Mahir

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In February 2022, this financial support allowed the ETIA14 student Agnieszka Kuderer to travel to Tanzania and examine the recycling potential of textile waste management there for her Master´s Thesis. This is how she details her experience:

The ETIA Travel Allowance enabled me to do a research trip to Tanzania for my Master’s Thesis, which deals with the evaluation of the current status and recycling potential of textile waste management in Tanzania.

To identify the changes of flows and stocks and present information on the sources, pathways and sinks of textile waste, it was crucial to collect first-hand information and include interviews with local experts. Dr. Said Mahir from the University of Dar es Salaam (see picture) works in the field of waste management and collaborated with me to deal with the limited data situation on textile waste in the country.

I performed interviews with sellers of second-hand clothing at local markets in Dar es Salaam regarding the evaluation of the textile waste management from imported second-hand clothing as part of the post-consumer side (see picture).

To give a complete picture and take up the question why the current waste management system operates as it does, the representative of a local NGO working in waste management and the founder of the first commercial recycling firm in Dar es Salaam provided valuable insights. Similarly, the founder of an environmental based project dealing with material reuse and recycling of refused textile from domestic areas presented his innovative approach on how to tackle poor waste disposal in the country.

The research trip was very successful, and I believe that the acquired insights will contribute to a comprehensive overview of the textile waste value chain. In terms of my intercultural experience, I gained the positive impression that even with limited means many people are willing to take the responsibility for the creation of a clean and healthy community.


This interdisciplinary MSc program Environmental Technology & International Affairs is a joint venture of the TU Wien and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. It is a pioneering project in its combination of international issues and environmental technology. 

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