North Americans throw away 9.5 million tonnes of clothing to landfills each year!! Just to break this down… Canadians will throw away 3,007,329,525 pounds of textiles in 2019! That’s equal to filling a football stadium three times over in one year! This is why we need to build our clothes so they can be recycled easier.
I was pulling up the zipper on my boots before leaving the house today. The zipper broke! I loved wearing those sporty wedge ankle boots! I struggled to unzip them inching the zipper down and frustration slowly washed over me.
When the boots came off I realized it was time. Time to throw them away! The boots cost $15.00! If I repaired them it would cost about the same to buy new again. This is the biggest reason why so much is thrown away each year. Cheap fashion accessories made cheaply! It made my decision to throw them away become way too easy!
Eco-fabrics will change the world
Fashion is a 2.4 trillion dollar industry and manufacturers are ingenious they’ve made products cheaply to ensure they fall apart. They make T-shirt’s a little thinner, sweaters that Frey or shoes that fall apart. The stores replenish their stock faster and consumers come back for more. Meanwhile, consumers Endorphins surge while retailers and manufacturers make money.
It’s a win-win for manufacturers, stores and consumers alike. We all like new stuff! Shopping is a natural aphrodisiac that gives us something to do. We just feel better in new clothes! It’s an environmental dilemma and companies should re-evaluate the purpose of fashion.
In fact, manufacturers should design for longevity and resource efficiency, develop clothes with their death in mind. Nearly Fifteen percent of clothing is sent to the Thrift store leaving eighty-five percent of clothing to go straight to the landfill… Forgotten forever. There are Environmentally Friendly or eco-fabrics which support and encourage the fashion industry. But, can they change their ways?
Cotton clothing is universal and part of our culture. We could not imagine life without a white cotton T-Shirt. It’s a staple in everyone’s closet and the costs are so much more than the $25.00 we pay.
Cotton itself is not a part of the eco-fabrics family because of the greater costs in relation to the harm of the environment. It takes over 1400 liters of water or 713 two-liter Jugs of water to make just one T-Shirt. Limited Freshwater is an issue and we’re using too much water throughout the manufacturing process. However, there is a side of the cotton industry that is environmentally friendly.
It’s “Organic” and if the T-Shirt comes from organic farming, it’s, therefore, a better option. The reason it’s important to buy Organic Cotton is that it’s not treated with pesticides, insecticides or herbicides. These chemicals will cause acute health problems for farmers including symptoms of dizziness, nausea, and skin irritation. The working hazards in conventional farming methods limited new entries into the industry. Most farmers are reaching retirement age and they don’t have a successor.
Lastly, if we support the Organic Cotton movement it could encourage a healthier work environment for our men and woman. It’s easy to find organic clothing online
This is a beautiful natural material we pride wearing at special events. It has a long history with many different cultures. Silk has unique qualities; it’s hypoallergenic biodegradable and keeps us warm in cold temperatures and cool when it’s hot outside.
The environmental impact of silk production also has a large carbon and water footprint and its an animal-derived product. There are also questionable manufacturing processes. For instance, manufacturers boil the silkworms before they escape the cacoon. Consequently, there’s an outcry from PETA to stop the unethical treatment of these worms.
However, there is a way to process the silk thread without all the death! Some production companies will allow the moth to release itself from the cocoon before they boil it. This is called “Peace silk” and if the industry raised their standards this fabric will be another member of the Eco-fabrics family.
There are companies that believe life is not about the duty to create a product at the expense of the animal. As conscious shoppers, the hunt is on for ethical companies. https://www.theethicalsilkcompany.com/about-us/ This is one of a few natural eco-fabrics that offer alternatives to polyester.
I think Bamboo is one of my most favorite of all eco-fabrics! This plant has some really great benefits. Firstly, It keeps you dry actually wicking moisture from your skin, it prevents odors so the chances of smelling fresh the whole day! It also insulates in the winter months and keeps you cool in the summer, plus it’s the softest biodegradable fabric you will ever feel.
Lastly, the plant grows fast, doesn’t need pesticides and uses very little water in comparison to cotton. Most fabrics are blended with polyester which is a synthetic fiber that takes forever to biodegrade! The higher content of eco-fabric the better.
Wool is a soft and water-resistant fiber that has been keeping us warm and dry for centuries. The Carbon footprint of Wool is low in comparison to man-made fabrics like Polyester, Rayon, and Acrylic. Sheep can be humanly sheared, the fabric can be easily recycled into new eco-fabrics, plus it’s biodegradable.
People often wash wool products less frequently and at lower temperatures so it uses less energy for cleaning. If we wore wool around the house on a regular basis it could potentially lower our heating bills thus reducing the total carbon footprint of a household. ThisFusio Ladies Cashmere Sweater is soo luxurious and soft everyone should keep Cashmere or Merino Wool in their closet!
If the manufacturing companies developed their clothing with death in mind. Instead of making zippers and trim difficult to remove the garment could be easily recycled. This development could create innovation within the industry and in turn provide more jobs. Jobs built around the by-product of the fashion industry… waste.
Young entrepreneurs have the opportunity to create a company to conserve worn materials. Fabric must be deconstructed to make new threads. But, at this point, it is too time-consuming and costly for a business to be viable in this conservation effort. Therefore, the only option for Consumers is to recycle responsibly. So, hand down your clothes to a family member, friend or send it to the Thrift store.
The fashion industry has created cheap clothing which has contaminated the environment. Support natural products and clean up our environment. The Oceans and land have become contaminated with cheaply made synthetic products. Your next purchase will make a difference. Vote with your dollars