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Fashion & Waste

   

Fashion and waste: a very toxic relationship we don't hear about enough. 


It is estimated that around 35% of all materials used in the production of garments end up as waste due to fabric offcuts, design changes, cancellation of orders and the short life of most garments in peoples’ wardrobes. We need a transformation of the fashion industry.


The problem

 

Overproduction.

Overproduction refers to the excess supply and demand for clothing, and it runs rampant. Unsold stock is often shipped to a landfill or simply incinerated and destroyed, never to be used again. 100 billion garments are being produced each year as brands keep up with an economy of over-consumption, this results in 92 million tonnes of garment waste each year and 50% more projected by 2030.


Pollution.

Extremely harmful chemicals are used in all parts of the supply chain, and this is what makes fashion one of the worst offenders for pollution. At every step there is another chemical to throw into the mix, for example, we have petroleum-based products like polyester to insecticides and pesticides used in the irrigation of crops. Fashion is one of the leading causes of carbon creation amounting to 10% of global emissions. 


Water waste.

The fashion industry relies heavily on water for its survival, from the production of materials to dyeing, washing and also irrigation. Around 20% of wastewater worldwide comes from fabric dyeing and treatment. The water obtained for such practices is usually from the supply of the local area, and in most cases, these areas are living in severe poverty, sometimes without access to clean filtered drinking water, while natural water supplies are used for the production of garments.


Microplastics.

When synthetic textiles are manufactured, worn, or dried, they release tiny plastic fibres. It is estimated that up 700,000 microfibres are released every time a garment is washed, and these make it into the sea, are swallowed by sea life, then make it into our food chain. These microfibres have been found in almost everything we eat and drink: fish, seafood, chicken, tap water, bottled water, salt, and even beer.



What can we do? 

Simply put, by changing the way we shop we can combat these problems plaguing the fashion industry.


Shop Consciously.

Shop brands that are doing better and trying to improve the state of the fashion industry - some of our favourites can be found here. By supporting these kinds of brands it will force a change in the industry. 


Buy natural, organic materials.

Look out for organic materials and fabrics where no chemicals used in their production. Pesticides and insecticides are banned in the growth of any organic materials and crops. Growing organic crops releases 42% less CO2 due to the lack of spraying chemicals and water use. 


Water use.

Washing your clothes consciously can make a huge difference to the number of plastics released into our water supply and oceans. Make sure your wash load is full and combine some colours with colour-catching pads to reduce the amount of washing you do. This will greatly reduce the amount of water we use each year as in some cases a washing machine can use up 19 gallons per load.


Reducing microplastics.

There are so many amazing brands making garments and accessories from recycled plastic that feel and look amazing, our Morenna Logo Scarf for example is made from 100% recycled packaging yet feels like silk. By making garments by using what already exists, it reduces the amount of plastic that would otherwise live in the ocean or landfills. A simple way we can reduce microplastic in our own lives and homes is by using a mesh wash bag to capture shedding that occurs during the wash cycle. 


An extra tip - DIY/Renting.

Even a little bit of DIY can go a long way. For example, by repairing a pair of jeans rather than buying new ones, we would save roughly 7,500 gallons of water which typically goes to waste during production. 

If you do find yourself in need of something new, we also recommend renting or borrowing an outfit for that big event or night out.

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