Did you know?
In 2015 there were 100 billion articles of clothing produced, yet research shows that many people only wear an item 7-10 times before discarding it. Despite recycling efforts, nearly 10 billion kilograms of textiles a year are sent to landfill in the USA. These textiles may never decompose, due often to plastic content in the fibres. If we avoid landfill by incinerating textiles then we produce some 3,000lb of CO2 per megawatthour.
Do you agree?
Here’s a fairly balanced view I’ve scooped from Internet Retailing Magazine in latest March issue, 2019: notwithstanding the environmental impact of waste, retailers and brands promote consumption: new range, new season, refresh, update, buy more, buy now. Improved manufacturing capabilities keep costs low, and discounting keeps consumption high.
By all means high consumption high waste (of resource, material etc) is the reality we all leave in
and me deciding to write this article comes from further both acknowledgment this and admitting that I’m one of the many many of us out there consumers wasting this planet’s resources without necessarily yet contributing back with either campaigning or taking part in functional initiatives to reduce waste if not consumption etc.
Least I could do so far is to share and reinforce a view – that sustainability is needed as the effect of high consumption low pay-back is impacting us all: we’re wearing plastic-filled fibers without often knowing when compromising on price, leaving behind textile that might never decompose, we’re meanwhile ‘itching’ to buy a ‘higher value/lower-priced item’ without questioning the cost of people resource and how are retailers abiding to the Fair Trade laws to avoid ‘masking’ the artificial price benefit.
Forgive my critical thought here yet you’d know where I’m coming from if I’d say –
We’re too complacent to leave on ‘short-term benefits’ while rarely asking long-term questions.
So what have been latest innovations in the field of sustainable fashion?
Let’s start from the sustainable mantra of “reduce, re-use, recycle” which now proudly adds a “renew” angle to it:
Question is: can we produce raw materials in ways that leave the land better than we found it?
Beyond a ‘plant a tree’ approach we see brands working to bring poisoned land back into production, or to sequester carbon through their activities. In retail we see the growth of marketplaces that extend the life of products (formerly known as ‘second hand’ or ‘vintage’), rent-not-buy, and repair or renewal services.
So who can we look up to for turning their heads to sustainable fashion and take some actual steps to re-mediate the issues surrounding it in some shape or form?
In our 2016 article revealing an almost ‘beyond-belief ‘ hard-working accessory manufacturer: Escama Studio you’ve learned how the US-Brazilian Eco-Chic brand which sources material from what’s now referred as ‘humble material’ –
Alluminium pulltabs. Each accessory is made up of hundreds of such pull tabs: is. one handbag alone can be made of over 900 pull tabs!
Now that’s pretty impressive! Read more about their story and where else can you find them in the UK (now that they’ve crossed the Atlantic to give us a chance to see what a beauty/utterly stylish a ‘renewed’ item might be!
Meanwhile not so far from our London base in the upper Manchester Pretty Little Thing were laying their tribute to sustainability by announcing partnership with clothes recycling app Regain. Previous fast fashion collaborations included brand such as Missguided, Boohoo, New Look & Superdry.
The app – which already partners with Missguided, New Look, Oliver Bonas, Superdry, and PrettyLittleThing stablemate – allows users to donate unwanted clothes at pick-up points.
In return, they receive discount codes that can be used with Regain’s retail partners.
The ultimate aim of the app is to prevent unwanted clothes from heading to the landfill. Read the full story here.
Here’s a snippet from a campaign you could see not so long ago in London’s underground:
Somewhere further up the geographical country border, the Dutch e-commerce sector has launched Bewust Bezorgd (Consciously Delivered), a sustainable calculation tool that helps online stores understand the carbon dioxide impact of parcel delivery and the effects of reductions measures.
By launching Bewust Bezorgd, the Dutch e-commerce sector wants to make the impact of reduction measures measurable, so that the climate objectives as set out in the Dutch National Climate Agreement can be met. The chairman of the Climate Council, Ed Nijpels, said of Bewust Bezorgd: “It’s great to see that innovation and sustainability go hand in hand in the [e-commerce] sector.” Read the full story here.
Going back to the UK – Retail Week announced yesterday that:
Global Fashion Group is set to launch sustainable search tool
adding the ability for customers on its Iconic ecommerce platform to search for products using sustainable criteria and filters.
Now that sounds pretty inspiring to get an informed user journey to start with! I’ll let you know how I’m finding it when it’s fully up and running yet if meanwhile you’ll see other innovations in the field of sustainable fashion don’t hesitate to share around! Eager to hear:)
Bye for now,