Waste & the Landfill issues in textiles
Every year 100 billion new items of clothing are produced. A truck full of clothing is burned, or buried in a landfill every second. The textiles industry is the second largest polluter in the world, and globally the industry is reported to account for between 8% and 10% of the world’s annual carbon emissions.
By the mid-2000s, the "fast fashion" model dominated the fashion industry. It is characterised by super-fast production, minimal regulation, and the fewest protections for workers and the environment. Between 2000 and 2015, because of “fast fashion” global clothing production doubled from 50 billion units to 100 billion units. Every year the industry produces on average 100 to 120 billion garments globally of which 70% end up in landfills or incinerated.
So what did we notice in our own "sustainable fashion" business?
When we first entered the sustainable fashion industry in 2016, we quickly saw how even what we called "sustainable" fashion, really wasn't sustainable in the long run, due to the amount of waste that was being created. Each new clothing line we made, would have its best sellers that sell well, in in some cases would sell out completely, leaving little or no waste on our end. But then some other collections might have items left over, and even within a "best selling" collection, there would be certain sizes that wouldn't sell as well as others. All of this started to create a huge amount of unused clothing for us, and this happens industry wide, in "fast fashion" and "sustainable fashion".
We realised we needed to change our model moving forward, so as early as 2018 we started looking for different manufacturing solutions, that primarily could create or print items on demand, so there would be a massive reduction on overall waste produced. But we wanted to go further. We wanted to reduce the amount of waste produced on our customers end also, meaning we would need a way for our customers to send clothing of ours ( that they felt finished with ) back to us, so it could be re made, instead of ending up in landfill. After a long search we were lucky enough to find a manufacturer who could fulfil all our criteria.
Now when our customers send back items they no longer wear, our manufacturer breaks down those items, along with many others sent back, and turns them into new clothing , ensuring nothing goes to waste, and the whole process takes place in a renewable energy powered factory!
The products we use are 100% organic , with no plastic materials , so everything can be broken down and re made, over and over without any micro plastics being released. This circular fashion model tackles the issue of textiles in landfill head on, and is a real step forward in what "sustainable" fashion can really mean.
The only other person required in all of this process ...is you. To really be circular, you have a massive part to play in all of this, because its your efforts to send items back to us that really make the difference at the end of the day.
But don't worry, its easy!
In the UK its free to send items back, just scan the QR code on your clothing for details, and from the EU , US and anywhere else in the world just pop your items in the post and they will get to us. And as a huge thanks for being part of the process, we send you a 10% voucher which can be used any time.
That really is circular fashion and we believe it's the way forward.