The world is in a state of flux. Population is growing globally and the impact of climate change is constantly discussed on the news but what does that mean to us individually? With more people, there is a need for more food and water. Land in the future will be required to provide the essentials for living. So raw materials to produce fresh new fabric will not be as urgent. The cotton of today’s t-shirt can be used to make the t-shirt of tomorrow. That is if we are smart.
Wearing clothes until they are worn out just makes sense. That doesn’t mean the same person has to wear the clothes, what it does mean is we need to keep them being worn and not added to landfill. When finally unwearable then the threads should be treated to create ‘new’ fabric to create a new garment. This is the vision of the circular economy. No waste here is the goal.
The source of these infographics is the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and refers to a report released in November 2017, A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future. The vision of this foundation was to establish a roadmap for the fashion industry to create better businesses that create a better environment.
“Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned.”
Everything we make going forward should never be wasted. Eliminating waste from design is a “Cradle to Cradle® concept (by William McDonough and Michael Braungart (2002) Cradle to Cradle®: Remaking the Way We Make Things;) is a new approach for designing intelligent products, processes and systems taking into account the entire life cycle of the product, optimizing material health, recyclabilty, renewable energy use, water efficiency and quality, and social responsibility.” (c2cislands.org)
Who is making this vision a reality? One business who recently won a Fashion Positive Plus Award is Tyton BioSciences. Their technologies can currently recycle cotton, polyester cotton, polyester and other non-wood fibres. This is great news for our future.
Keeping clothing in the circular loop was one of the reasons Reverse Garbage Queensland initiated the Worn Out! showcase at the Princess Theatre last month. It bought together creatives across Brisbane to show what could be created using textiles and clothing salvaged from opshops or landfill. Watch out for my next post showing the outfits I created using salvaged clothing.
Enjoy your week.