Recycling Textiles | Not so much
Greenpeace is taking on our current “feel good” fashion recycling trend. It is a fallacy to think we can recycle all the textiles we buy. The amount of textiles that are bought and then thrown away due to our #fastfashion lifestyle is enormous.
It is estimated every US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing a year!
If we are just going to throw away or donate these shoddily made clothes for newer-yet-shoddily-made clothes—how is this helping?
The good news is that millennials are rejecting the “trendiosis” of #fastfashion and preferring second-hand, vintage, or more expensive #sustainably sourced textiles.
H&M, Zara Grapple With Sustainable Fashion This Holiday Season (Advertising Age) outlines how the public wants to buy items that are classic and will last a long time. The movement is happening, and it’s been gaining ground in the last few years.
Fashion brands need to urgently re-think the throwaway business model and produce clothing that’s durable, repairable and fit for re-use. —Kirsten Brodde, the head of Greenpeace’s Detox my Fashion campaign
Check out how to buy local in Austin and how we can repair what we have!
Berkshire Bohemian | Photo: Jan Gerards
- It’s sustainable. Upcycling reduces clothing and textile waste by reusing deadstock or gently used fabric to create new garments and products. Making a single cotton T-shirt requires over 700 gallons of water, whereas using a pre-existing T-shirt to make something new requires nearly no water. In addition, upcycling can divert some of the 85% of textile waste that ends up in landfills.
- It’s cost-effective. Similar to reducing waste, upcycling can be less expensive since used or pre-existing materials are typically a fraction of the cost of newly-made materials and textiles.
- It’s creative. Upcycling requires creativity to envision the potential of existing materials to create something new and beautiful.
Via Danielle L. Vermeer from 7 UPCYCLING COMPANIES THAT ARE TRANSFORMING THE FASHION INDUSTRY.
One of the new companies exploring using #waste as a resource is Berkshire Bohemian. They make bags that are stylish and upcycled!
Berkshire Bohemian bag
There are more new fashion upcyclers that consider “trash” as fodder for a better product. These #entrepreneurs are creating a more sustainable future. This is evidenced in the move toward #slowfashion and an awareness of the garment industry’s harmful supply chain. Erika Brown (from Berkshire Bohemian) envisions a future where consumerism doesn’t “cost the earth” — meaning that economic gain doesn’t necessarily mean environmental loss.
Creating items for #consumption needn’t be a zero sum game! We can work with what we have—creating desirable items from #castoff unconventional materials. We need to know how our garments and home goods are made. Upcycling is a #winwinwin for all.
More about entrepreneurial upcycling companies: Why are fashion companies embracing upcycling? [Danielle Sabrina @DanielleScorp via #HuffPost]
Fashion Takes Action
Via #CBCNews Canadian Designers do #slowfashion! #FashionTakesAction pursues greener pastures with #ethical, #sustainable clothes. We need much higher adoption rates. We need to re-engineer our #supplychain and create #cradle2cradle designs. These designers are making the #avantgarde de rigueur!