In a warehouse on the outskirts of Barcelona, women stand at conveyor belts, manually sorting T-shirts, jeans and dresses from large bales of used clothing — a small step toward tackling Europe's towering problem of discarded fashion.

Within a year, the sorting center run by garment reuse and recycling charity Moda Re plans to double the volume it handles to 40,000 metric tons annually.

"This is just the beginning," said Albert Alberich, director of Moda Re, which is a part of Spanish charity Caritas and runs Spain's biggest secondhand clothing chain.