We live in a world of ever-growing fashion with trends that are constantly changing, therefore this fast fashion creates so much waste costing the economy billions every year, but could these costs be cut by returning clothing back to the retailer after use? Could you be a better person and help towards reducing fashion waste by returning garments after use? Here we will explore the wonderful world of circular fashion.
Where does Fashion Waste come from?
10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions comes from fashion and it’s the second largest water consumer in the world. To make one pair of jeans, it takes 2,000 gallons of water. This water waste contains dyes and plastics and as a result, this is polluting our oceans, rivers, and streams.
Chemicals, oils, and fertilisers are among the many toxins that come from textiles each year. Textiles are immersed in these non-renewable resources causing problems when the fabrics are washed, for example when a fabric made from synthetic fibres is washed, the oils go into the water and the water then goes to the sea, which is damaging for sea life.
Pollution is a massive impact on the environment and as long as we can reduce this, the rate will fall. Using materials that will decompose into the natural environment will help with reduction.
“Every free single industry sharing this Earth needs to look at itself and be responsible, mindful and at the same time still have a healthy business at the end of the day. What is really exciting about The New Textiles Economy Report is that it’s providing solutions to an industry that is incredibly harmful to the environment, these are problems that people are not even aware of”Stella McCartney, 2017
How Circular Fashion is better for the Economy
Circular fashion is the process of creating less waste in the production of clothing. This could be producing something without any left-over materials at all, or using materials that are better for the environment. This however is not only good for the environment but is also more cost effective. In addition to this, some designers are adding special tags to garments. These tags mean that consumers can scan in their clothing after use rather than throwing them away, which means they can be then recycled.
There are ways to make materials by using waste from food and wine industries. Grape leather and orange peel fibres are used to make new innovative materials. In previous years it was found that nylon could be made from plant waste and solar energy. Making clothing this way in the future could have an extremely positive impact on the economy, meaning that there will be less waste in landfills as these materials are completely 100% recyclable.
The more retailers that implement circular fashion, the more the word will spread. Therefore, the world will be a better place. Retailers including ASOS and Nike use circular fashion and many more are planning on joining. Last year, many retailers signed a joint statement committing to building a circular economy. H&M are heading towards being 100% circular as they are determined to lead the industry into a more sustainable way of working. Also, ASOS have designed unisex denim garments, reversible shirts and four-way dresses. They wanted to make clothing more versatile and durable making them longer lasting to become more circular.
The Future of Circular Fashion
Less waste? Better environment? How can there be no future for circular fashion? After all, we do need to look after our planet and if reusing our clothes or scanning them means helping to do that, then we should definitely do it.
Could circularity make us better people? The Business of Fashion commented that “customers are willing to return recent purchases with the incentive of a refund, but struggle when a garment of unknown value sits forgotten at the back of a wardrobe”.
With a circular fashion future every garment would have a chance of being new again and consumers need to see that something as simple as recycling or returning these garments would have such a positive impact on the world.
Also consider buying second-hand clothing, as this is a great way to reuse fashion. You can find previously loved clothing in charity shops. In addition to this, passing clothing on to a friend in need is always another option. Keep the circle going, keep reusing, recycling, reselling.